On September 13, Covered California, California’s health benefit exchange, announced that insurers signed contracts to offer pediatric dental coverage in 2014 in the exchange’s individual and small-group employer markets.
The contracts offer stand-alone plans for children’s dental coverage in the first year of the new health benefit exchange, which began open-enrollment on October 1. Additionally, California’s health benefit exchange pledged to work toward embedding pediatric dental coverage in its 2015 portfolio of comprehensive medical insurance products.
Five insurance companies will offer plans to families who buy insurance through Covered California in 2014: Anthem Blue Cross of California; Blue Shield of California; Delta Dental; Liberty Dental; and Premier Access. Seven companies will offer plans in Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP): Blue Shield of California, Delta Dental, Guardian, Liberty Dental, MetLife, Premier Access, and Safeguard. The companies offer a mix of plan choices statewide with rates as low as $8 per month in some areas.
Covered California dental benefit plans offer standard copayments, deductibles and coinsurance requirements. Unlike Covered California’s health insurance plans, dental plans are not designated by descriptive metal levels but come in two actuarial value options: an 85% plan, which features higher premiums but lower average out-of-pocket costs, and a 70% plan, with lower premiums and higher average out-of-pocket costs.
Because of technical constraints, Covered California is unable to offer bundled pediatric dental plans in 2014. This has led to Health Net’s withdrawal from participation in Covered California’s 2014 pediatric dental plans. To view an updated list of children’s dental insurance plan rates, click here