German insurance companies could limit braces cover after study reveals lack of evidence to support long-term dental health benefits
German insurance companies could limit braces cover in the future, after a study suggested that there was little evidence to support the fact that braces provide long-term dental health benefits.
Ann Marini, spokeswoman for the federation of public health insurers, stated that it isn’t possible to say that braces achieve the middle or long-term benefits “expected of” them, and as such, the organisation is considering letting insurers alter their policies on orthodontic cover. Presently, German insurers pay out more than 1.1 billion euros per year for braces.
Ms Marini’s statement comes after a report, which was commissioned by the German Government, was published. The study, which was undertaken by the IGES Institute, concluded that there was “no evidence” to support claims that braces improved dental health in the long-term.
In response to the findings, the German Health Ministry was quick to suggest that a lack of evidence of long-term benefits was not sufficient to render braces a useless entity. Health minister, Jens Spahn, said that there were “no doubts” about the importance or the necessity of braces for patients with orthodontic issues that affect the alignment of the teeth.
In light of the report, Ms Marini has suggested that further research into the benefits of orthodontic braces is required given that wearing braces can take its toll on patients and that insurers pay out over a billion euros per year on this kind of treatment.
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