Dental care and insurance costs too much. ACA rule could change that

Dental care and insurance costs too much. ACA rule could change that

Even when she had a massive infection and grueling pain from a cracked tooth, Nicole Sutton could not get a dentist to provide timely care.

Sutton, a single mother based in Tampa, Florida, could only get herself on a waitlist where she got in line to see one of the few dentists who take Medicaid, the government insurance for low-income families. She visited a hospital emergency room and a federally funded community health center, but those appointments only yielded prescriptions for antibiotics and pain pills. Neither offered to treat her dental crisis.  

Dental care and insurance costs too much. ACA rule could change that

It wasn’t until she secured a loan from a friend that she could afford to see a specialist and an oral surgeon who extracted her tooth in an emergency procedure. Both demanded cash upfront.

It took months to clear the infection and return to health. The protracted dental episode two years ago exposed Sutton to the lurking disaster millions of Americans face because they don’t have robust dental insurance that guarantees access to oral care. A solution from the federal government may be forthcoming, which could have made a huge difference for Sutton.

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