The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will mandate employers with more than 50 employees offer dental insurance.
The move follows a yearlong review of dental coverage and policies by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which has recommended that employers with 50 or more employees offer a plan, or the dental coverage should be optional.
The requirement comes after years of advocacy by the advocacy group Americans for Dental Choice, which led a series of campaigns to push for the federal government to mandate dental coverage.
“If employers cannot provide dental coverage, it makes sense to offer it to their workers,” said American Dental Foundation President Jonathan Gruber, who noted that dental work costs workers up to $2,500 per year in medical costs.
“That’s why we have the Dental Care Act, because it protects workers and ensures that people with dental problems don’t lose their health care.”
The Obama administration initially considered mandating dental coverage in 2015, but the Trump administration decided to delay the requirement for a year.
Since then, health insurance companies have largely followed the recommendation, but some have opted to waive coverage.
Some insurers, such as Aetna, have also offered dental coverage for workers on a voluntary basis.
The Obama-era rule, which was written by the Department of Labor, required that employers offer dental coverage to all employees, regardless of whether they had a dental plan.
The Trump White House says the dental requirement is necessary to ensure that all workers receive dental care.
The White House’s order makes no mention of other types of dental care, including those covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The ACA requires employers with at least 50 employees to offer dental plans to their full-time employees.
Currently, those who do not have a dental coverage plan can choose to enroll in dental insurance on a per-employee basis, which the White House describes as an “employer choice.”
However, the administration has said the dental requirements will remain optional.