Reader Question – What about dental?

A reader writes:

I am disappointed that there is no mention of dentistry in the proposed health care reforms (as far as I have seen). There is a tremendous waste of time, energy, procedures, overtreatment, undertreatment and the like I see from patients coming into my dental practice.

I couldn’t agree more about the need for dental health.  We ignore the importance of dental health, both physically and socially, at our own peril.  There is some good news, however.  Even the Senate Finance Committee bill requires as a minimum (emphasis mine):

All plans must provide preventive and primary care, emergency services, hospitalization, physician services, outpatient services, day surgery and related anesthesia, diagnostic imaging and screenings (including x-rays), maternity and newborn care, pediatric services (including dental and vision), medical/surgical care, prescription drugs, radiation and chemotherapy, and mental health and substance abuse services that at least meet minimum standards set by Federal and state laws.

So dental coverage for children is a must.  Further good news is that dental coverage is explicitly mentioned throughout the bill, although it isn’t mandated.

Bottom line, there is no mandate for adult dental insurance, but this is a start.  And mandated coverage for children is good to see.

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