Why Do So Many Americans Lack Dental Insurance?

Last year saw a record breaking spending on dental problems and yet more than 80 million U.S. citizens lack dental coverage. Dental problems and tooth aches are one of the leading causes of absence at workplace, school leaves and emergency department use. If you think that children are more prone to dental problems then you cannot be more wrong.

Adults with their unhealthy eating habits and busy lifestyle are at an equal footing with the children when it comes to dental problems. It is evident that dental anomalies are a national problem, yet so many people lack dental coverage. Let’s try to uncover the reason why more than 80 million Americans lack dental coverage.

  • Dentists not willing to take Medicaid:

Whether a dentist wants to participate in the Medicaid or not is entirely up to him. While some dentists willingly take Medicaid, others might not do so. The reasons may include more lucrative private practice with better rewards. Another reason can be that some dentists find the billing process of Medicaid incompatible with their practices.

It is also a fact that Medicaid patients have the highest no-show rate. A dentist may lose interest in Medicaid if the patients never return for follow up. For such reason Medicaid patients are not considered as a profitable segment.

  • Dental insurance sold separately:

It makes complete sense to sell a comprehensive health insurance plan that includes dental care as well. But it seems like health insurance providers tend to think otherwise. It is a fact that a lot of Americans cannot afford to buy a health insurance plan, then how can someone expect them to buy an equally expensive dental insurance.

  • Dental care not included in the 10 essential points:

There is no doubt in the fact that the Affordable Care Act has made some revolutionary changes to the health care industry. But sadly it has overlooked the need for dental care. We are not saying that it does not even mentions dental care, there are some points that address the issue of dental care but it has largely been left out as a state subject with no federal regulations.

The American dental association lobbied for a long time to get pediatric dental care included in the 10 essential points but the outcome was a sad one. Since the issue has not been well addressed in the Affordable Care Act, things are less likely to change in the dental insurance market.

  • Higher premiums of dental insurances:

A dental insurance is quite different than a health insurance. While you might need hospital services at any point in your life, it is less likely that you will need major dental work at periodic intervals. For this reason people tend to overlook dental insurance. What they don’t realize is that regular dental checkups can avoid major dental problems and hence save their money in the long run. A lot people think that for simple regular dental checkups the premiums associated with the dental insurance are too high and unjustifiable.

Brianna Wilson works for Healthcare Solutions Team. She is licensed with over 40 major health care insurance companies and helps people to find affordable family dental insurance plans online.