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Friday Dental Download: July 25, 2014

This week, we discuss the potentially huge cost of the new Obamacare decision, learn what ancient teeth reveal about the evolution of cavities, and discover why the ACA medical coverage could improve the rate at which young adults seek and receive routine dental care. Join the conversation on Twitter using #FridayDentalDL.

1. ACA’s ‘Spillover’ Effect: Dental Coverage Rate Increasing for Young Adults Whose Parents Receive Health Insurance through Employers: Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows parents to keep their children on their medical plans up to age 26, there is no similar requirement for dental coverage. However, a new study found that more employers are offering extended family benefits that include dental insurance for family members up to age 26. According to a new report that analyzes two years of post-reform data, the ACA’s expanded dependent coverage provision increases access to dental care for young adults ages 19-25 by 6.9 percent. The ACA medical coverage expansion’s effect on dental coverage could increase the number of young adults seeking and receiving routine dental care.

2. Ancient teeth reveal evolution of cavities: A new study finds the bacteria that causes toothaches has become more diverse over the course of human history. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is a nasty bacteria that lurks in the mouth, frequently causing tooth decay. A new analysis of the bacteria’s DNA extracted from human teeth dating back to the Bronze Age reveals the bug has been mutating randomly over the years. This has caused it to become more diverse as the human population grows.

3. The potentially huge cost of the recent Obamacare decision: A federal appeals court ruled that the federal government isn’t authorized to administer insurance subsidies in the 36 states that chose not to set up their own health insurance exchanges. On average, premiums in these federal exchange states would increase 76 percent as a result of this decision. Opponents of the law argued that the statute says only an exchange established by the state could offer subsidies. This ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of people receiving tax credits through Federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets.