In the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can get dental coverage 2 ways: as part of a health plan, or by itself through a separate, stand-alone dental plan.
Important: You can buy a dental plan through the federal Marketplace only when you enroll in a health plan at the same time.
If you’re already enrolled in a Marketplace plan, you can’t add on dental coverage. You have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period to change plans. If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can get dental coverage with your new health plan.
Health plans that include dental coverage. In the Marketplace, dental coverage is included in some health plans. You can see which plans include dental coverage when you compare them.
If a health plan includes dental coverage, you’ll pay one monthly premium for both. The premium shown for the plan includes both health and dental coverage.
Separate, stand-alone dental plans. In some cases separate, stand-alone plans are offered. You may want this if the health coverage you choose doesn’t include dental coverage, or if you want different dental coverage.
If you choose a separate dental plan, you’ll pay a separate, additional premium.
After you complete your Marketplace application and get your results, you can then view health plans that include dental coverage. If you decide you want a stand-alone dental plan, you can choose one after you select your health plan.
Note: You can’t buy a dental plan from the Marketplace unless you’re enrolling in a Marketplace health plan at the same time.
There are 2 categories of Marketplace dental plans: High and low coverage levels.
The low coverage level has lower premiums but higher copayments and deductibles. So you’ll pay less every month, but you'll pay more when you use dental services.
When you compare dental plans in the Marketplace, you’ll find details about each plan’s costs, copayments, deductibles, and services covered.
Under the health care law, dental insurance is treated differently for adults and children 18 and under.
Note: Under the health care law, most people must have health coverage or pay a fee. Dental coverage is optional, even for children. So you don't need it to avoid the penalty.
Outside Open Enrollment, you can change health plans only if you have a qualifying life event that gives you a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Learn more about how you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you qualify for an SEP, you can choose a new health plan with or without dental coverage. But you can’t get dental coverage on its own.