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District of Columbia dental insurance guide 2022

District of Columbia dental insurance guide 2022

DC Health Link has certified individual and family dental plans from four insurers

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.

As with all essential health benefits, the specific coverage requirements for pediatric dental care are guided by DC’s essential health benefits benchmark plan.

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
  • DeltaCare
  • 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.

DC Healthy Families, which is the District of Columbia’s CHIP, provides dental coverage to uninsured children and pregnant women with income above the eligibility limits for Medicaid.

Dental resources in DC

Related articles

Here's what you need to know when you're shopping for adult dental coverage through a state health insurance marketplace or directly from a dental plan carrier.
There is no penalty for not having pediatric dental on your policy – and in most exchanges, you can purchase a plan without pediatric dental. But off-exchange, carriers are required ...
If you're an adult who bought a dental insurance plan, your out-of-pocket costs will depend entirely on the amount of dental care you need during the year. But for children, ...
For those who purchase their own insurance, the decision to purchase dental coverage is not always as clear-cut as the decision to purchase health insurance.
Pediatric dental is one of the essential health benefits, although it’s a bit more complicated than the other nine. Some medical policies have pediatric dental embedded in the plan, and ...
Dental insurance and dental discount plans can both be useful in terms of reducing your total dental costs, but they vary significantly in terms of the benefits you get and ...

Other types of coverage

Individual and Family

District of Columbia health insurance marketplace 2023 guide

The District of Columbia has by far the lowest percentage of subsidy-eligible exchange enrollees in the country, for a variety of reasons (although subsidies are now more widely available, due to the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act). The District has an individual mandate, does not allow individual or small group plans to be purchased "off-exchange," and has sharply limited short-term health insurance plans. The District has also permanently extended open enrollment so it will run through January 31 each year. The District's COVID special enrollment period for uninsured residents continues through the end of the COVID public health emergency in the District.

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District of Columbia health insurance marketplace 2023 guide

Short-term health insurance in Washington, DC

Check short-term health insurance plan availability in DC and shop for coverage. Learn about state regulations regarding short-term plan duration and renewal.

View plan availability in your state.
Short-term health insurance in Washington, DC

District of Columbia and ACA Medicaid expansion

The District of Columbia has more generous Medicaid eligibility requirements than most other parts of the country. More than one in three DC residents is covered by Medicaid.

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District of Columbia and ACA Medicaid expansion

Medicare in the District of Columbia

For all information on Medicare in the District of Columbia, has you covered. Get all the resources you need to make an informed decision.

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Medicare in the District of Columbia

Learn about health insurance coverage options in your state.

Our state guides offer up-to-date information about ACA-compliant individual and family plans and marketplace enrollment; Medicaid expansion status and Medicaid eligibility; short-term health insurance regulations and short-term plan availability; and Medicare plan options.