The IRS proposed allowing the cost of standalone pediatric dental plans to be included in calculating premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The Children's Dental Health Project, the National Association of Dental Plans and the American Dental Association were among the groups that urged the IRS to make the change, says CDHP Senior Policy Analyst Colin Reusch.
The CMS manual for the 2017 Affordable Care Act open enrollment period covers the rules and procedures for issuers of qualified health plans and qualified dental plans offered on publicly run individual and small-business exchanges; individuals and employers who seek coverage through the exchanges; and brokers, agents and others who provide help to people who have or are seeking coverage.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill to create a dental insurance program for military veterans and their families. The bill, which was also approved by the Senate, will allow veterans who participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs' health program to purchase dental coverage at a discount through MetLife or Delta Dental.
HHS last month granted $156 million to 420 health clinics to help meet an overwhelming need for affordable dental care, marking the first time the department has issued grants for oral health services, said Martin Kramer of the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration. Although many low-income children have access to dental care through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, many adults lack dental benefits.
Michigan-based Amway will give 5,000 US employees access to a test to screen for a genetic predisposition to produce excess interleukin-1, which is associated with chronic inflammation that leads to periodontitis and other health conditions. The program will include 18 months of follow-up education for employees and their dental care providers.
Former oral surgeon W. Scott Harrington was sentenced to pay a $20,000 fine and serve two years' probation for fraudulently billing Medicaid for anesthesia administered by unlicensed staff. Harrington surrendered his professional license in 2014 amid reports of unsanitary conditions in two Tulsa-area clinics; he agreed to pay close to $30,000 in restitution of the fraud charges in April.
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Normal human oral keratinocytes exposed to aerosols from electronic cigarettes showed lower cell viability, had reduced intracellular glutathione levels and had higher heme oxygenase levels than untreated cells, researchers reported in PLOS ONE. The findings suggest that exposure to e-cigarette smoke raises the risk for periodontal disease and cancer, researcher Diana Messadi said.
Walgreens and Colgate are offering free oral health screenings to children at 66 Walgreens pharmacies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami. Colgate's mobile clinics will provide free education, screenings and local referrals, and children will receive kits that include a toothbrush, toothpaste, educational materials and an oral health report card.
The 2015 NADP Dental Benefits Report: Premium and Benefit Utilization Trends Report, which was initially released embargoed to participating companies, is now available in the Knowledge Center of the NADP website. The report provides information about the trends in In-force premium for DHMO, DPPO and Dental Indemnity products; portrays data on Annual Maximums and Annual Deductibles; and provides trending data on utilization of benefits and number of procedures paid for by dental carriers.
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