Thousands of California adults are signing up for dental insurance offered for the first time by Covered California, the state's Obamacare marketplace, officials said Wednesday.
About 33,000 adults have signed up for the dental plans, including about 6,000 who also are signing up for health insurance on the marketplace for the first time, said Peter Lee, Covered California’s executive director.
While dental coverage for children under age 19 is considered an essential benefit under the Affordable Care Act and is included in their health insurance plans, that’s not the case for adults. Most of the nation’s state-run health exchanges now offer separate dental plans serving adults and the federally run exchange, healthcare.gov, also offers adult dental coverage.
Covered California is the second to last among the state-run exchanges to offer dental coverage for adults, said Jeff Album, a Delta Dental executive. Now only Washington state does not offer it.
In California, adults must purchase a health plan on Covered California to be able to purchase an “add-on” dental policy, and they’ll pay monthly premiums ranging from $11 to $65, Lee said. These premiums are not subsidized like Covered California’s health premiums for lower-income people, but the dental plans can’t turn anyone away because of pre-existing conditions.