- What are typical dental insurance costs in Washington, DC?
- Stand-alone pediatric dental plans in the District of Columbia comply with the ACA’s pediatric dental coverage rules.
- In 2022, four insurers offer dental plans through DC Health Link.
- Off-exchange stand-alone dental plans are available in DC.
- See how Medicaid and CHIP cover dental in DC.
- Review our list of Washington, DC dental resources.
Dental insurance in Washington, DC
The District of Columbia uses a district-run health insurance marketplace named DC Health Link for the sale of certified individual/family dental plans.
Not all insurers who offer medical plans through the District of Columbia exchange include dental coverage with their health plans, but stand-alone dental plans are available for purchase that cover both adults and children.
How much does dental insurance cost in Washington, DC?
For adults who purchase their own stand-alone or family dental coverage through the exchange, premiums range from $10 to $61 per month.
IHC Specialty Benefits reports that the average monthly premium for a stand-alone family dental plan sold in Idaho over a two-year period (2020-2021) was $41.14. (Typical family size was 1.2 to 1.4 persons.)
If a family is purchasing coverage through DC Health Link, the premiums attached with pediatric dental coverage may or may not be canceled out by premium tax credits (premium subsidies). Here’s more about how that works, depending on whether the policy has integrated pediatric dental benefits.
Pediatric dental benefits in the District of Columbia
The pediatric stand-alone dental plans available in the District of Columbia will comply with the ACA’s pediatric dental coverage rules. This means out-of-pocket costs for children’s dental care will not exceed $375 per child in 2022 (or $750 for all the children on a family’s plan), and there is no cap on medically-necessary dental benefits for kids.
Click here to see details for the District of Columbia’s benchmark plan, which does include coverage for both basic and major dental services for children.
Four insurers offer stand-alone dental plans through the DC exchange
In 2022, there are four insurers who offer stand-alone individual/family dental coverage through the health insurance marketplace in the District of Columbia. These are dental plans that are not included with a medical plan and must be purchased separately:
- BEST Life
- CareFirst BCBS
- Dominion National
These plans can be purchased through DC Health Link during open enrollment (November 1 to January 15) or during a special enrollment period triggered by a qualifying life event. Exchange-certified stand-alone dental plans are compliant with the ACA’s rules for pediatric dental coverage.
Can I buy dental insurance outside of the District’s exchange?
There are also a variety of dental insurers that sell stand-alone dental plans directly to consumers in the nation’s capital. These plans are not subject to the ACA’s essential health benefit rules for children’s dental coverage, but they are regulated by the DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking. To purchase a non-ACA qualified dental plan, ask a dentist for recommendations or search online.
In DC, there are also various dental discount plans available. Dental discount plans are not dental insurance, but can offer discounted rates at participating dentists. Here’s what you need to know to weigh the differences between dental insurance and dental discount plans.
To find dental discount plans in DC, search online for dental discount plans and the District of Columbia.
Medicaid/CHIP dental coverage in Washington, DC
Adults and children enrolled in DC Medicaid are eligible for comprehensive dental benefits. Adult services are completed through a fee-for-service program.
Dental resources in DC
- District of Columbia Dental Society
- District of Columbia free or low cost dental clinics
- DC Healthy Families (Medicaid)
- DC Health Link