Buying Dental Insurance for Kids? Know Your Options
Finding dental insurance for kids is a great step in taking care of your children’s overall health. Tooth decay is the most chronic disease in children,¹ so doing everything you can to prevent it ensures a brighter future.
Although dentists recommend that children get their first exam by their first birthday,² it’s never too early to start. But what kind of dental insurance for kids is available, and how do you get it?
Does Your Child Need Dental Insurance?
Proper dental care gives your child a foundation for good oral health. But it also helps them maintain their self-esteem.¹ If dental insurance isn’t available through an employer-sponsored plan, purchasing affordable supplemental children’s dental coverage is a good investment.
According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 17% of kids ages 6–11 have cavities. For older kids, 57% cavities, with 17% going untreated.3 If not treated, tooth decay can lead to tooth loss and speech problems.1 The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. With dental insurance, prevention can be affordable.
Finding dental insurance for toddlers, kids, and teens is easier than you think. A HealthMarkets agent can review your needs and help you find a great plan that fits your budget.
Does ACA Health Include Dental Insurance for Kids?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) considers dental services for children up to age 18 to be an “essential health benefit.” That means coverage is available through plans sold on your state’s healthcare exchange either as part of a health plan or as a standalone plan. Purchasing kids’ dental insurance with an ACA health plan is optional.4
If you qualify for Affordable Care Act premium subsidies, they will only apply to plans that are bundled with your health insurance plan. Subsidies will not cover standalone dental plans.5
Before purchasing kids’ dental plans on the exchange, make sure you understand what’s covered. Some plans only cover fluoride treatments, and others are more comprehensive. Generally, standalone plans include coverage for more dental services than those bundled with health coverage.5
What Does Kids’ Dental Insurance Cover?
Dental insurance for kids varies by state, company, and the type of plan you buy. Some services that could be included are:6
- Basic exams and cleanings
- Preventive care
- Fluoride treatments
Visit HealthMarkets to compare dental plans and features to find the right dental coverage for your family
Dental Care for Children With No Insurance
If you’re not sure whether purchasing dental insurance is the right choice for your child, there are options, including dental discount plans and Medicaid/CHIP programs.
Dental discount plans aren’t insurance but can provide discounts for dental services. Some discount plans also include vision and prescription discounts.6*
Free Dental Insurance for Kids
If you’re concerned about the cost of dental insurance for kids, there are state-funded options for low-income families that you could consider.
Do your research. You may qualify for your state’s Medicaid or CHIP program that provides low-cost or free dental insurance for kids.7 Contact your state’s agency for more information.
How Do I Find the Right Dental Insurance for My Child?
It can be difficult to know how to choose the right dental insurance for your kid when sorting through copays, deductibles, and premiums. But HealthMarkets makes it easy.
We can help you select a kids’ dental plan on or off the healthcare exchange in your state with our online comparison tool. We have access to plans from a variety of insurance companies to make sure we can find the right fit. We can even help with dental discount plans, if you prefer to self-pay for services.