The Affordable Care Act mandated that insurers cover dental care for children. Indeed, it was one of the 10 essential health benefits meant to set the bar for adequate health insurance. But pediatric dental care is handled differently from coverage of other essential benefits on federal and state exchanges. These plans are often sold separately from medical insurance, and dental coverage for children is optional. People shopping on the exchanges are not required to buy it and do not receive financial support for buying it.
Now experts are warning that the flawed implementation of this benefit on the exchanges could leave millions of children without access to dental care.