by MSNBC News | MSNBC | MSNBC NewsPolitics – September 21, 2018 | 9:47:37A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that dental care in the United States can be difficult to get without insurance.

The researchers looked at dental care plans offered by Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“The ACA’s protections for the uninsured, and its emphasis on preventive health care, are designed to make dental care a universal public benefit,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, co-director of the Kaiser Health Tracking Program.

Larger dentists in high-income areas are more likely to have coverage than smaller ones.

“In fact, the coverage gap in the U.S. has grown over time, rising from 5 percent in 2010 to 22 percent in 2019,” said Lustig.

“Dentists who receive coverage in these areas are also more likely than other doctors to perform high-quality, timely care, while dentists who do not are less likely to provide care that meets the patient’s specific needs.”

“Dental care providers can be expected to perform more than two-thirds of their procedures on the patient, often using procedures that require specialized equipment and services, including some procedures that may not be covered under a standard insurance plan,” Lustig said.

The study found that for some dental procedures, such as enamel extraction, the cost of insurance would likely be far greater than the deductible.

“This is especially true for older patients with chronic conditions, such a children’s health insurance, which is often less affordable than Medicare.””

However, dental providers may have a financial incentive to perform the procedures that are covered by the insurance plan, and that could result in higher premiums,” Lustige said.

“This is especially true for older patients with chronic conditions, such a children’s health insurance, which is often less affordable than Medicare.”

In general, higher-income patients are more willing to pay for dental care because of lower costs, but this study showed that higher-wealth patients were more likely pay more for dental services.

“Obamacare’s coverage expansions are intended to make health care more affordable for low-income families, including seniors and people with chronic health conditions,” LustIG said.

For example, in 2019, the average cost of a new procedure for an individual covered by a health plan that includes dental coverage was $2,700, while the average price of an individual procedure for a dental insurance plan that did not included dental coverage ($1,400) was higher than the average costs for the same procedure for all individuals covered by insurance.