The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) could create a new divide between consumers who have high-end dental coverage and consumers who have bare-bones dental coverage, or no dental coverage at all.
The National Association of Dental Plans has published data supporting that possibility in a summary of results from a recent survey of 3,044 consumers.
The NADP, a group that represents dental carriers and dental discount program managers, added questions about PPACA and proposed federal policy changes to its usual annual survey program.
The NADP analysts found that 61 percent of the consumers surveyed said they now have some kind of dental coverage, and that 53 percent had visited the dentist within the past 6 months.
Observers have suggested that PPACA could shake up the group dental by encouraging small employers to drop health benefits programs and send employees to buy individual coverage on a guaranteed-issue, community-rated basis through the new PPACA exchanges, or Web-based health insurance supermarkets.
Federal budget policy specialists who are worried about the size of the federal budget deficit have suggested that the government should eliminate many income tax deductions, including the deduction for employer-sponsored health benefits.