(Reuters) - An estimated 45 million Americans do not have dental insurance, according to a government report released on Wednesday, and recently passed healthcare reform offers little direct help. Overall most non-elderly people who already have private health coverage also have a dental policy, but roughly 70 percent of those who have to buy their own health plan do not, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Under the health reforms passed in March, adults must buy health insurance or pay a fine starting in 2014. The law does not require them to buy other types of coverage like dental or vision, although some comprehensive health care plans include the additional coverage. While health plans must cover at minimum services like emergency care and prescription drugs, they do not have to cover oral care for adults. Dental care for children is required. Some advocates pushed for a wider dental component in the bill, pointing to the larger impact of oral health on conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Among the 172 million people under 65 who already have private health insurance, nearly three-quarters have dental insurance too, mostly through an employer, the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics said. The survey found that among those with dental coverage, 33 percent had a comprehensive plan with dental coverage, while 26 percent had a stand-alone plan. Fourteen percent had both. Among those with employer-sponsored care, just 20 percent lacked a dental plan. The CDC's statistics unit analyzed data from its 2008 nationwide survey of 65,495 people under age 65.

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Posted 12:15 PM

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