Repeal, replace or repair? These are the three R’s dom­i­nat­ing the news in recent weeks about how U.S. Con­gres­sion­al Repub­li­cans want to over­haul the Afford­able Care Act.

Repub­li­cans, who rep­re­sent the major­i­ty in both the House and Sen­ate, have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to rewrite the health care law, but are gen­er­al­ly split into three camps on how to do so: Repeal the whole law now and replace lat­er, per­haps incre­men­tal­ly; repeal once a com­plete replace­ment is ready; or repair the ACA for now, then deter­mine what to do next.

Regard­less of which strat­e­gy they select, some­thing new is on the hori­zon, and Delta Den­tal is work­ing to ensure den­tal ben­e­fits aren’t left out of the dis­cus­sion.

About 1 mil­lion pre­vi­ous­ly unin­sured Amer­i­cans today have afford­able den­tal cov­er­age as a result of den­tal ben­e­fits sold in pub­lic health exchanges, while employ­er-spon­sored plans con­tin­ue to enjoy tax-exempt cov­er­age. Since our mis­sion is to advance den­tal health and access to care, we want to pre­serve this progress in what­ev­er leg­is­la­tion may come.

To this end, here’s what we’re telling law­mak­ers:

  • Allow peo­ple with exchange den­tal cov­er­age to renew those poli­cies with the car­ri­ers they’ve selected—whether or not those mar­ket­places continue—to min­i­mize dis­rup­tion.
  • If a new law includes tax cred­its to help eli­gi­ble Amer­i­cans pur­chase ben­e­fits, let those cred­its be used for den­tal as well as med­ical cov­er­age.
  • Keep the tax-exempt sta­tus for employ­er-spon­sored den­tal ben­e­fits; expand that exemp­tion to allow indi­vid­u­als to pay den­tal pre­mi­ums with tax-free dol­lars.

Whether repeal, replace, or repair, the key “r” word for Delta Den­tal is ready.

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