Covered California picks 6 insurers for pediatric dental policies

Covered California has selected six insurers to offer pediatric dental coverage through the state's health insurance exchange beginning in October.

Covered California was created by the state as part of the Affordable Care Act. Supporters hope that the exchange will function similarly to websites such as Amazon and Expedia so that users can choose among various health plans through an online store, according to a story on California Healthline.

The exchange is expected to open for registration in October, and an estimated 5 million people will purchase plans through the exchange in 2014.

The health plans that will offer pediatric dental benefits through Covered California include Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Delta Dental, Health Net, Liberty Dental, and Premier Access Dental. All of the pediatric dental policies -- except those offered by Health Net -- will be sold as standalone products, and premiums will range from $9 to $44 per month, according to the article.

Regarding policy types, HMO, preferred provider organization (PPO), and exclusive provider organization plans will be available. The policies will cover several services, including x-rays, dental exams, teeth cleanings, crowns, prosthetics, and oral surgeries, the story noted. The policies will be offered at two levels: approximately 85% coverage of the total average cost of benefits, or approximately 70% coverage of the cumulative cost of benefits.

The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry said it supports the inclusion of the policies, but it hopes that California will go further by making pediatric dental coverage mandatory.

The California Association of Health Underwriters noted that the premium rates announced are for a single child only. The costs will be higher for multiple children.