Last updated on: 10/24/2012 | Author:

Does Obamacare Require Dental Coverage for Children? – YES

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1401, “Refundable Tax Credit Providing Premium Assistance for Coverage under a Qualified Health Plan,” page 97, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at the Library of Congress website, states:

“(E) SPECIAL RULE FOR PEDIATRIC DENTAL COVERAGE.—For purposes of determining the amount of any monthly premium, if an individual enrolls in both a qualified health plan and a plan described in section 1311(d)(2)(B)(ii)(I) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for any plan year, the portion of the premium for the plan described in such section that (under regulations prescribed by the Secretary) is properly allocable to pediatric dental benefits which are included in the essential health benefits required to be provided by a qualified health plan under section 1302(b)(1)(J) of such Act shall be treated as a premium payable for a qualified health plan.”

Mar. 23, 2010 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590)

PRO (yes)


The US Department of Health and Human Services, in a fact sheet “Families with Children and the Affordable Care Act,” (accessed Oct. 10, 2012), available at the Affordable Care Act website, stated:

“Pregnancy and newborn care, along with vision and dental coverage for children, will be covered in all Exchange plans and new plans sold to individuals and small businesses, starting in 2014.”

- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590)


The American Dental Association, in a July 17, 2012 statement, “Affordable Care Act after the Supreme Court Decision: Impact on Dentistry,” available at, wrote:

“The Supreme Court decision allows the federal government to move forward with ACA implementation, including the requirement that health care exchanges be in place in each state by January 1, 2014. As a result, unless federal action changes things, millions more children will have dental coverage from private and public sector health plans in 2014.”


The Children’s Dental Health Project, in a June 28, 2012 press release, “Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act,” available at, stated:

“In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled today to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by a vote of 5 to 4. This historic decision ensures that affordable health coverage will be made available to millions of Americans, including nearly 8 million children who will be eligible for dental coverage through the state health insurance exchanges free of annual and lifetime caps.”


The National Conference of State Legislatures, in an Apr. 19, 2012 newsletter article, “Dental Insurance Coverage for Kids Increases,” available at, stated:

“The PPACA requires insurance plans in the state health insurance exchanges to provide coverage for children’s oral health services as an essential health benefit. Children who receive health coverage through the exchanges will have dental coverage when the exchanges are operational in 2014. States will determine the scope of that coverage, however. In addition, the PPACA allows for both stand-alone dental plans and dental plans that exclusively offer pediatric dental benefits to participate in state health insurance exchanges.”

CON (no)


[Editor’s Note: Based upon a neutral reading of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and bi-partisan third party analysis, this question seems to have a clear and obvious Pro (yes) answer, and has therefore presented the responses in a single column with no opposing perspective.]