Posted on September 21, 2015

Ask HR: Is There a Penalty for Employers Who Do Not Offer Pediatric Dental Coverage?

It's a busy time of year in the HR industry. Open enrollment starts in October for many employers, and the Affordable Care Act is raising questions for everyone.

That's where HR Support Center can help: they answer real questions from real HR professionals. Each week, we share a sample of one of these questions. Are you wondering how the Affordable Care Act might affect companies' obligation to provide pediatric dental coverage? Take a look at the question and answer below for more on that topic.


I just heard that starting January 1, 2016, there will be no employer mandate penalty for employers that do not offer pediatric dental coverage. Is that correct?

Answer from Jenny, HR Pro:

There is actually no employer mandate penalty for an employer that fails to offer pediatric dental coverage, and there never has been.

Under the employer mandate, companies with 50+ full time equivalent employees are required to offer a health plan with "Minimum Essential Coverage" and "Minimum Value" to avoid employer mandate penalties. Pediatric dental is not required for the plan to meet these standards.

The confusion comes in because the federal government requires carriers of individual and some small group plans to offer ten "Essential Health Benefits," including pediatric dental care. This requirement falls on insurance carriers, not on employers who purchase insurance from a carrier.

In sum, Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) and Minimum Value (MV) standards are different from Essential Health Benefits (EHB) standards. To avoid employer mandate penalties, an employer need only offer a plan that meets Minimum Essential Coverage and Minimum Value requirements.

Over her 15 years of experience, Jenny has specialized in helping small to mid-sized businesses across a variety of industries reduce their risks and manage employee relationship issues. Jenny holds a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Georgia State University.

This Q&A content is taken straight from the experts at HR Support Center. Click here to learn more about HR Support Center and HR On-Demand; we’d also love the chance to explain in person.

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