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Texas dental insurance guide
The Texas health insurance marketplace has certified individual and family dental plans from 12 insurers
Texas uses the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov for the sale of certified individual/family dental plans.
Not all insurers who offer medical plans through the Texas exchange include dental coverage with their health plans, but stand-alone dental plans are available for purchase that cover both adults and children.
Frequently asked questions about dental coverage in Texas
How much does dental insurance cost in Texas?
For adults who purchase their own stand-alone or family dental coverage through the exchange, premiums range from $18 to $109 per month.
IHC Specialty Benefits reports that the average monthly premium for a stand-alone family dental plan sold in Texas in 2023 was $55.27.
If a family is purchasing coverage through the health insurance exchange, the premiums associated with pediatric dental coverage may or may not be offset by premium tax credits (premium subsidies). Here’s more about how that works, depending on whether the health plan has integrated pediatric dental benefits.
Are stand-alone pediatric dental plans on the exchange ACA-compliant?
The stand-alone pediatric dental plans available in Texas will comply with the ACA’s pediatric dental coverage rules. This means out-of-pocket costs for pediatric dental care will not exceed $375 per child in 2023 (or $750 for all the children on a family’s plan), and there is no cap on medically-necessary pediatric dental benefits.
As is the case for all essential health benefits, the specific coverage requirements for pediatric dental care are guided by the state’s essential health benefits benchmark plan.
See details of the Texas benchmark plan, which does include coverage for both basic and major dental services for children.
Which insurers offer dental coverage through the Texas marketplace?
In 2023, there are 12 insurers that offer stand-alone individual/family dental coverage through the health insurance exchange in Texas. These are dental plans that are not included with a medical plan and must be purchased separately:
- BEST Life
- BCBS of Texas
- Delta Dental PPO
- DeltaCare USA
- EMI Health
- Renaissance Dental
- Solstice Healthplans of Texas
These plans can be purchased through HealthCare.gov 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 Texas's exchange?
There are also a variety of dental insurers that sell stand-alone dental plans directly to consumers in the Lone Star State. These plans are not subject to the ACA’s essential health benefit rules for pediatric dental coverage, but they are regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance. If you would like to purchase a non-ACA qualified dental plan, ask a dentist for recommendations or search online.
There are also various dental discount plans available in every state. Dental discount plans are not insurance, but can offer discounted rates at participating dentists. Learn about the differences between dental insurance and dental discount plans.
To find plans in your area, search online for dental discount plans and the state you are looking to buy a plan in.
How does Texas Medicaid and CHIP provide dental coverage?
Adults and children enrolled in Medicaid in Texas are part of STAR, a managed care plan that operates across the state. Adults are eligible for limited dental services. Children enrolled in Medicaid are eligible to receive more comprehensive dental services.
Texas Health Steps, which is Texas’s CHIP, provides dental coverage to uninsured children and pregnant women with income above the eligibility limits for Medicaid.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.