On April 18, the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner adopted a final administrative rule
that will allow dental insurers to offer stand-alone plans for children’s dental care outside the state’s health exchange. Currently, pediatric dental benefits offered outside the exchange must be embedded in medical plans. The newly adopted rule will take effect in 2015.
The administrative rule was developed in response to ESHB 1846
, which was passed during the 2013 regular legislative session and allows stand-alone dental plans for children to be offered outside the health insurance exchange.
The Washington State Legislature is likely to address pediatric dental benefits again during the next regular legislative session. Under existing law, dental plans sold on the exchange must be offered and priced separately as stand-alone plans. However, there are some in Washington State who would like to see pediatric dental benefits embedded into medical plans offered inside the exchange, and a bill could be filed during the next regular legislative session to accomplish this.