One major aspect of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) purpose is to help lower-income families afford to better insure and seek out treatment for their children. For this reason, several aspects of preventive care for kids have been added as part of all Qualified Health Plans under the new law. What are they, and why are they important?
Screening for hearing loss issues has not always been a regular procedure for babies until recently, states Utah State University. But detecting hearing problems early on vastly reduces the impact these will have on a developing child. Failure to detect hearing impairments and treat them can affect the child's social development, speech acquisition, and success in school. The ACA mandates that all covered newborns receive a routine hearing screening. Most hospitals are now capable of including this in services provided to new parents.
Tooth decay, according to the CDC, is the most common chronic disease among children age 6 to 19. This statistic is particularly troubling given that tooth decay is largely preventable. In order to encourage and help parents afford to take their kids to dentists regularly, the ACA mandates that dental coverage for children with dentists such as Fairfield Family Dentistry be included or available in all qualified policies.
Many insurers will offer plans that don't include kids' dental coverage automatically, but instead offer a separate stand-alone policy that can be purchased additionally. This will vary by state and insurer. Considered to be necessary preventive coverage, dental visits for teeth cleaning and X-rays will be covered as well as medically necessary fillings and orthodontics. Since young adults can now stay on most policies until age 25, parents may choose to add adult dental coverage to later policies to continue preventive care.
Also added to health insurance policies as a result of the ACA is vision coverage for minors. Vision problems in young children can lead to malformation of the eyes, poor school performance, and lack of engagement. Eye problems detectable in routine eye exams may also indicate other disease or illnesses such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Pediatric eye exams must now be covered as preventive care by all Qualified Health Plans, and eye glasses may be partially covered.
Addressing impairments or chronic problems in children not only helps them grow as healthy kids but also grow into healthier adults. So parents are wise to make use of all the new, required preventive care coverage now available under the ACA to ensure that kids are avoiding preventible diseases and receiving the best treatment when necessary.