How the Affordable Care Act Changes Your Dental Coverage

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into full effect at the beginning of the year. The new law has changed the healthcare industry in many ways. One of the changes people haven’t heard much about is the impact on dental insurance. Here is an overview on the changes that you will need to be aware of.

Most Stand-alone Policies Are Not Effected

Data from the National Association of Dental Plans shows that about 98% of people have stand-alone dental plans. Most of these plans are not affected by the new ACA provisions. The only plans that need to change are those that didn’t previously offer pediatric dental care, which is now required under the law.

This means that most people do not need to worry about their dental plans being affected much. Smaller employees are unlikely to drop coverage, because premiums won’t change substantially either.

Limited Coverage Under Medicaid Expansion

Many states have chosen to expand Medicaid as required under the ACA. New Medicaid patients may receive some dental services. However, many of those services will be limited for patients living in states with limited Medicaid expansion.

For example, most Medi-cal (California’s version of Medicaid) patients in California will not receive dental care as part of the Medicaid expansion. For the most part, dental care is limited to youths under the age of 21. There will be some other exceptions though, so it is a good idea to check with the health exchanges or your state’s Medicaid office.

Implications of the Employer Mandate

The Affordable Care Act includes an employer mandate, which requires companies with over 50 full-time employees to provide healthcare benefits to them. Your employers will need to provide a healthcare plan that complies with all provisions of the ACA, including dental care.

Once the employer mandate goes into effect, your employer will be required to provide a plan that covers dental care. The employer mandate was extended until 2015, which means that you may not be guaranteed dental care from your employer until then.

Understand How Networks Operate

Every insurance company has a network of healthcare providers. You should find out whether or not your dentist is included in the network before getting your teeth fixed. Otherwise, you will face two problems:

  • The services won’t be covered by your insurance company.
  • The care that you receive won’t count towards your deductible or out of pocket cap.

Your insurer will tell you which providers are included in the network. If your existing dentist isn’t covered then you will want to look for a new one, unless you don’t mind paying for those services out of pocket.

Consult an Expert for Specific Plan Questions

Dental plans can vary significantly between different insurers. You will want to speak with an expert for more information on the benefits a plan provides. Your insurance provider, an ACA navigator and your dentist should all be able to help answer many of the questions that you have. Make sure that you ask them for help if needed.

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Tips for Drinking Beer When Traveling Across the United States

There are a number of excellent beers in the United States. Both domestic and foreign travelers enjoy visiting many of the great breweries and beer festivals that the country has to offer. Here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind while traveling the United States.

Do Research Before Planning Your Itineraries

It is always important to plan ahead before visiting different breweries and festivals. Here are some things you should find out before making any plans:

  • The hours that each brewery is open.
  • The different beers available on tap.
  • Any tours or special events the breweries may offer.

You can usually find this information on the company’s website. Unfortunately, some companies don’t update their sites very often. If it appears that the site hasn’t been updated for at least a couple months then you may want to call to verify this information first.

Pack Wisely

You will want to make sure that you are well prepared for your trip. Here are some things that you will want to pack before you get your drink on with a tour of Boston’s Breweries and Brew Pubs.

Plenty of Food

There are a couple reasons that it is a good idea to bring plenty of food if you are going to be visiting beer festivals or hopping between different breweries. First of all, it is never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach. Eating plenty of food will help keep you from becoming too inebriated, while still having a chance to get a decent buzz.

You should also consider bringing some salty foods if you are going to be visiting a large beer festival. This will remove the taste of alcohol from your palette so you can sample different beers.

Bag for Collectibles

Many breweries and festivals offer a number of awesome souvenirs. You may want to bring a bag to carry them back with you.

Appropriate Attire

You will want to make sure that you have the right clothes before planning your trip. Most breweries are pretty laid back, but some require more formal attire. You will also want to make sure that you have the right clothing if you are going to be outside. Depending on where the festival is held, you may end up being stuck in the rain or the muggy sun. You will want to make sure that you are comfortable during the stay.

Watch Your BAC Level

Many people end up sampling a dozen or more different beers when visiting a brewery or festival. You need to be careful to avoid becoming too intoxicated. Here are some things that you should try:

  • Make sure that you don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Find out what the APV rating is of different drinks

It is easy to get intoxicated when sampling beers. You should always have a designated driver, but it is still a good idea to monitor yourself.

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Wordless Wednesday – Smile Sources

Today’s Wordless Wednesday photos are courtesy of Pickles & Peppers and #teambelinda.  Some are educational and some are just cute, either way you should smile.






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Best Places in the World to Go Sailing

At least 10 million people around the world are passionate sailors. They enjoy the excitement of sailing the open seas and traveling to new destinations around the world. Here are some places that experienced sailors recommend visiting.

The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean has some of the best sailing waters in the world. In fact, the art of sailing was actually invented in the Mediterranean nearly 3,000 years ago. Here are some places that you may want to visit if you are traveling in that part of the world:

  • Greece. Greece has some of the finest sunsets in the world. You will get a great view of them while traveling along the Greek Islands.
  • Croatia. Croatia is another popular sailing region. It has a long coastline with beautiful beaches and some of the finest cities in the world.
  • Italy. Italy is another beautiful tourist country that sailors all over the world enjoy visiting.
  • The French Riviera. The French Riviera is one of the most romantic tourist destinations in the world. It also has a long coastline that sailors all over the world have traveled across.
  • Montenegro. Montenegro is about 400 miles away from Croatia. The coast is a bit harder to navigate, but experienced sailors feel that the opportunity to see the beautiful sunsets and sparkling waters is well worth the challenge.

The Mediterranean is a splendid place to visit. It is highly recommended by sailors all over the world, so you should consider taking a trip there if you just bought a new sailboat from this company.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean Sea is also a great place to go sailing. There are a couple of different places that you may want to check out.

The British Virgin Islands are probably one of the best places to visit. The temperature is nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round. The area is also home to some of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world.

The Grenadines is another popular sailing destination in the Caribbean. Richmond Holt once wrote that there aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to describe the beauty of sailing this region of the world. There are a number of great islands to check out, including : Bequia, Mustique and Canouan. These islands are all within a couple hours of each other, so you will have the chance to check all of them out. They have some of the whitest, sandiest beaches in the world.

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Worldless Wednesday – Spring has Sprung!

Boy are we happy that Spring is finally winning this battle with Winter!  Some Spring photos for you this week to give everyone that taste of spring!!!  This week’s Springy post is brought to you by Pickles-n-Peppers and Angie’s Angle.  Links for two of the recipes, for the food shown, can be found at the end of this post.


Arugula Salad


Chicken salsa verde brown rice


Grilled Salad



Grilled Salad

Salsa Verde Chicken and Brown Rice

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