Are dental and vision included within the Affordable Care Act?
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Asked September 17, 2012
The Affordable Care Act, called the ACA, is meant to make basic health insurance easier for people with low incomes to purchase. Even though the act includes a broad range of individual changes to health care, these changes are, almost entirely, based on medical services, checkups, and necessary procedures. In most cases, vision and dental are not considered necessary, and may not even be part of your health insurance plan, simply an additional benefit package.
If your vision and dental care are paid for by separate deductions, or required individual signup, then they are probably not included in your health insurance plan, but are added into your employer's benefits package. In this situation, the ACA has no effect on vision and dental care at all. Since those types of care are elective and can rarely be considered vital, they are not included in the Affordable Care Act.
If your vision or hearing coverage were included in a robust health plan, then the coverage would be required to follow the requirements of the ACA. This means that you receive hearing and/or dental care at no additional costs over your normal health insurance, and that the coverage was part of your health insurance application. This is a rare occurrence, but some employers do offer full dental and vision care as part of the employment health insurance package. Check your policy, or contact your company's Human Resource department to find out whether your health plan includes vision and dental.
If you were not already receiving dental or vision care, then nothing will change. The ACA does not require employers or health plans to provide dental or vision coverage, and the new laws will not change the way these types of care are already administered. For a majority of people, dental and vision coverage will have to be purchased separately, and will not have many, if any, changes related to the ACA.
Answered September 17, 2012 by Anonymous