With the headlong pursuit of mandated health care, one benefit has been largely left to fend for itself. Dental care has been treated by the health care industry for many years as that red-headed stepchild that parents are not sure how to deal with or where to put them. Because the primary issue with government and commercial insurance has been focused on primary medical and major medical care, the dental business has been trying in earnest to keep up, but seemingly not able to keep pace.

According to the Washington Post, the health care law outlines 10 major benefit categories that all insurance plans will need to cover by 2014. These are known, in the health care law, as the "essential health benefits," the medical services that are crucial to keeping Americans healthy. The essential health benefits include things like maternity care and hospitalizations. It includes "pediatric services, including oral and vision care." There's nothing, however, that would require coverage of such services for adults. 

This is actually true of a lot of public insurance plans, as reported in the Washington Post. Medicare barely covers much in the way of dental benefits (AARP offers private, supplementary plans for dental coverage). In Medicaid, 22 states either offer no dental coverage at all or only do so in emergency situations. Dentists, meanwhile, haven't exactly been gunning to be included in public health systems. Staying outside of the insurance system means they can charge whatever prices they want, without a health plan pushing back.

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