33K Adults Have Signed Up for Covered California Dental Coverage
As of Tuesday, about 33,000 California adults have enrolled in optional add-on dental coverage through the state health insurance exchange, according to a Covered California release, Kaiser Health News reports.
Covered California's third open enrollment period began on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016 (Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News, 11/19).
In January 2014, the Covered California board of directors voted to require all children's health plans offered through the insurance exchange to include pediatric dental coverage as an essential health benefit beginning in 2015.
In August 2014, the state's insurance exchange announced that it planned to offer optional family dental coverage as an add-on plan for an additional cost beginning in 2015 (California Healthline, 2/24).
Details of Dental Coverage
About 6,000 new Covered California enrollees have selected an add-on family dental plan with their health coverage during the third open enrollment period, while more than 27,000 current enrollees purchased a family dental plan when renewing their health coverage (Covered California release, 11/18).
The optional add-on dental plans available on the exchange have monthly premiums ranging from $11 to $65, according to Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee. While the plans are not eligible for subsidies, dental insurers offering the add-on coverage are not allowed to reject enrollees because of pre-existing conditions. All of the plans include no-cost preventive dental care and diagnostic services, according to KHN.
The dental plans available on exchange are offered by:
- Access Dental Plan;
- Anthem Blue Cross;
- Delta Dental of California;
- Dental Health Services; and
- Premier Access (Kaiser Health News, 11/19).
Lee noted that "the vast majority of all of California's dentists are in one of these health plans," adding, "[W]e think that people are going to not have a moment of a problem getting to a local dentist that they want to see through one of these plans we're offering" (Shams, KCRA, 11/18).
Lee said exchange officials "have been surprised by the extraordinarily high enrollment, both by those who have health coverage through Covered California and by those signing up for health coverage for the first time."
Lee added, "Enrollment continues at a healthy pace, with thousands of people signing up for coverage every day" (Covered California release, 11/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.