Dental coverage for children

Parents may purchase dental coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Exceptional dental care is vital for children. Satisfactory care involves not only brushing, but dental check-ups as well. Michigan State University Extension explains that although some caregivers may not currently have dental coverage for their children, coverage is available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Dental coverage for children can be purchased as part of a plan that covers both health care and dental care. It may also be purchased separately from health coverage. Depending on your income, your child may also be eligible for dental coverage through Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (called MIChild in Michigan) or Healthy Kids.

In order to get the dental coverage you want for your child, you’ll need to compare plans. Dental plans vary with regard to the level of coverage they provide. Differences among plans may involve the number of times a year the plan will pay for particular services and/or how much you’ll pay out-of-pocket for services. You’ll also want to check to see which dentists participate in the plans that are of interest to you.

You are not required to purchase dental insurance for your children if you are shopping for a health plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace (except in Kentucky, Nevada and Washington). However, if you purchase your insurance outside the Marketplace, the insurance company will ask if you have a separate plan for dental insurance. If you don’t have a separate plan and you don’t intend to purchase a separate plan from another company, then that insurance company is required to sell you a health plan that covers dental care for your children.

If you are interested in buying dental insurance for yourself, there are many insurance companies offering plans for adults or families on the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can find plans in your area by searching the Healthcare.gov website:

  1. Go to wwww.healthcare.gov
  2. Click “Learn” at the top and then click “See Plans Before I Apply.”
  3. Check that you are looking for coverage for yourself or your family and the easy-to-use search engine will ask if you are shopping for health or dental coverage.
  4. It will then ask for your state and county. Provide additional information about the number of people you want covered and their ages.
  5. Search for the “Summary of Benefits and Coverage” once you select a plan to make sure you know what coverage you’re getting. There will be a section titled “Excluded Services and Other Covered Services.”

Plan representatives are also good sources of information for any questions you may have about covered services.

For more information about dental coverage for children, visit the Children’s Dental Healthcare Project.

MSU Extension offers consumer education about making healthcare choices in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Through Smart Choice Health Insurance, participants will determine what they want from health care providers, compare healthcare plans, determine the cost of the plans and will apply what they learn to make the right choice in healthcare plans for them.

For more information, visit www.aca.msue.msu.edu.

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