Colorado Advocates Look out for Children’s Dental Care

Officials recently called dental benefits an optional treatment for Colorado’s new state insurance exchange. But Colorado health advocates are pushing to make sure the dental care is mandatory.

These dental-care policies will be available in October but there is no federal mandate to buy oral health coverage as of now.

It’s essential for the health of the children in the state to have the same chance to receive dental care as they have to receive medical care.

As of now, however, there are no plans to do anything beyond the federal decision, which focuses on the consumer choice as opposed to state mandates.

Dental and vision coverage will be offered and bundled in some cases but dental coverage is not required for children.

In the three years prior to 2011, the number of children in Colorado without dental insurance rose 17 percent to 2.1 million children, according to a Colorado Trust study. There are some people who will be aided by the Medicaid expansion process, which is part of health reforms in 2014.

Some studies have shown that 240,000 people from Colorado without coverage will receive medical care after the Medicaid expansion.

The state insurance exchange is anticipating 150,000 people will sign up during the first year. Private foundations are doing their part to attempt to close the dental gap in Colorado.