ROANOKE, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Many childless adults and parents whose children already have dental insurance will be forced to purchase children’s dental insurance that they don’t need and don’t want – that’s the message of a humorous educational campaign recently launched by Delta Dental of Virginia (DDVA). The campaign is designed to help small businesses, individuals/families and insurance brokers clearly understand the options for dental coverage under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Unfortunately, they need to understand how to navigate the new rules, and that’s what we’re trying to help them do”
The Want The Facts campaign is a combination of print ads and video vignettes that humorously highlight the fact that individuals without children and parents who already have dental coverage for their kids still have to purchase pediatric dental benefits with their health plan when purchasing outside of the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, or Exchange. Get a taste of DDVA’s campaign by viewing the car dealer and date night vignettes.
The ads direct viewers to a special website: thatsthetrooth.com that guides small businesses, brokers and individuals through the decision-making process so they can choose the dental plan that suits their needs. “People shouldn’t be forced to buy coverage they don’t need, and they have a right to buy coverage from the company they like and trust,” said Chris Pyle, DDVA’s vice president of marketing and government relations. “Unfortunately, they need to understand how to navigate the new rules, and that’s what we’re trying to help them do,” Pyle said. Delta Dental of Virginia, the state’s largest dental benefits provider covering more than 1.8 million people, has decided not to offer stand-alone dental plans on the Exchange in Virginia in 2014.
“We believe the traditional marketplace off of the Exchange is the best place for individuals and small groups to purchase dental benefits,” said Pyle. “The exchanges may eventually be a great place for people to access medical insurance, but they will have a lot more dental benefit options in the off-exchange market.”
DDVA will offer Exchange Certified Stand-Alone Dental Plans in the small group market off of exchanges, in addition to standard small group products and new products designed to complement medical plans that embed a pediatric dental benefit.
The Affordable Care Act created two sets of rules regarding dental benefits. Individuals and small employers shopping on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, or exchange, are not required to purchase pediatric dental benefits. However, medical carriers offering coverage to individuals and small employers off of exchanges are required to include pediatric dental coverage as part of the medical plan, whether or not the applicant has children and whether or not the employees with children already have dental coverage. The one exception to this rule is if the medical plan applicant already has an “Exchange Certified Stand-alone Dental Plan.”
“Individuals and employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees that don’t want to be forced to purchase benefits they can’t use or simply don’t want have a way out. They can purchase a medical-only plan on an exchange which would free them to purchase the dental plan that best fits their needs off of the exchange,” said Pyle. “Some small groups and individuals will qualify for tax credits and subsidies on the exchange, so that may be a good option for them. But they will have more dental benefits options if they purchase those products off of the exchange.”
“We are hopeful that exchange regulation and the online shopping experience will prove to allow consumers a vibrant and transparent marketplace as it was intended,” Pyle said. “We will continue to monitor developments in hopes of participating on exchanges in 2015.”
For more information on how dental benefits are being affected by the ACA, visit www.thatsthetrooth.com.