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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Obamacare: 7 Things We Know Now

7. Dental Coverage Isn't Guaranteed, Except for Kids

If you get insurance through a federal or state Marketplace, it likely won’t include dental care. Insurers aren't required to offer dental care -- except for policies that cover children -- and you won't pay a penalty if you go without dental coverage for yourself or for children. Public health advocates pushed hard to have pediatric dental care included. The efforts were fueled in part because of a Maryland boy, who died in 2007 from a bacterial infection that spread from an abscessed tooth. His family had lost their Medicaid coverage.

Why is dental coverage treated differently from other kinds of medical coverage? The law's framers stayed away from universal dental coverage because they feared losing the battle in Congress if costs got too high, says Jeff Album. He is vice president of public and government affairs with Delta Dental, a dental insurance company.

Historically, about 99% of dental plans are sold separately from medical plans, Katz says.

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