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California Insurance Board To Pursue Pediatric Dentistry Coverage

California’s health insurance exchange board has taken a step toward adding children’s dental insurance to the health plans it will offer under the Affordable Care Act.

Photo by Terry J Alcorn

Dental care for adults was cut from Medi-Cal during the recession.

The Covered California board wants to give consumers dental insurance options other than as stand-alone plans. To that end, the board has voted unanimously to explore ways to add the coverage to its medical insurance plan by 2015.

Elizabeth Landsberg with the Western Center on Law and Poverty said low income parents need a variety of affordable options.

“This is about kids and keeping kids healthy and I think we all share the goal of keeping kids healthy. Embedded dental plans are going to help with that,” Landsberg said.

Some state dental industry groups say stand-alone plans can be an affordable choice.

Nicette Short is with the California Dental Association.

“The rates that are going to be available through the stand alone dental plans for families in the exchange are very affordable,” Short said.

Covered California will continue to study the option of embedding pediatric dental coverage into the medical insurance exchange before 2015.

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