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Individual Health Insurance Plans Arizona Question & Answers

2013 December 20
by Sarah Fields

Maria asks…

Question about Ortho Assisting?

I am currently doing a 13 week Dental Assisting program. After I complete the program I will be an X-Ray Certified Dental Assistant, I live in Arizona. I was wondering if after I complete the program if I would be able to work as an Ortho Assistant? Is it totally different from Dental Assisting to the point where I wont know anything at all that I learned from the school? Please give me as much info as possible about Ortho Assisting :]

Sarah Fields answers:

The orthodontic assistant is the right hand to the orthodontist. Orthodontics is the field of dentistry that deals with preventing or correcting irregularities in the teeth. Orthodontic assistants are dental assistants who aid the doctor with these procedures. These assistants carry out a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties. In most cases, the orthodontic assistant works alongside the orthodontist to accomplish these duties.

The orthodontic assistant sets up and cleans the office for the patient’s visit. Sterilization of equipment is performed by this assistant. She escorts patients to and from the clinic. The assistant issues patient care instructions and demonstrations if necessary. The orthodontic assistant maintains accurate patient information in the clinical computer, including entering and updating chart information. The orthodontic assistant may be assigned to take impressions, X-rays and place bands for placing teeth braces, as well as monitor patient flow.

There’s no formal education program for entry-level orthodontic assistants in the United States; most assistants learn their duties through on-the-job training. Junior and community colleges, however, do offer dental-assisting programs that enable individuals to acquire advanced skills. In general, dental-assisting programs take a year to complete. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2009, the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved 281 dental-assisting programs. Coursework that the potential assistant would complete includes biology, chemistry, and laboratory and preclinical instruction in dental-assisting skills.

Orthodontic assistants generally receive the basic comprehensive health and dental insurance package; assistants may also receive additional discounts in orthodontic care. Benefits also include flexible spending accounts, paid vacation, and sick and personal time. Some packages offer production bonuses and profit sharing (e.g., through a 401(k) plan).

Working Conditions
Orthodontic assistants work in an orthodontist’s office. Work areas are well lit and clean so that orthodontic assistants can properly complete their duties. Orthodontic assistants work in close proximity to the orthodontist, arranging instruments, materials and medications. They must wear gloves, masks and eyewear for protection; additional protective clothing may also be appropriate when dealing with patients with infectious diseases. These assistants must follow all safety procedures of the dental office for protection of themselves and their patients.

An orthodontic assistant is the second in command to the orthodontist. The assistant must be able to work well with others, be reliable and have superior manual dexterity. Orthodontic assistants also must possess customer service skills, as they constantly deal with patients.

Salary and Occupational Outlook
According to, orthodontic assistants earn anywhere from $12.73 to $17.97 an hour in the United States (as of June 2010). These wages vary by experience, location and whether the assistant has obtained a certification in this field. In general, the occupational outlook for all dental assistants will increase 36 percent by the year 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Occupational growth is attributed to population growth and the need for preventive dental care for the younger generation.

Laura asks…

Obama Care…the Ultimate Screw to Working Families…the Facts say so?

I am thankful that I live in Arizona which will not participate in the Obama Destruction of those who still have Jobs. Support Working Americans with a Vote for Mitt ROMNEY…your Children will thank you in 4 years. Mine already have.

Say Good Bye To A Better Life if Obama is Re Elected. We are at a Critical Crossroads with Life in America as we had as Teenagers and Young Adult, Being taken over by more Government Control and a Shorter Life Expectancy. Your Health is at Grave Risk with Obama Care. Welfare and Illegal Aliens will benefit as usual.
New Tax penalty for people that don’t buy insurance
Broaden Medicare tax base for high-income taxpayers: $210.2 billion
Annual fee on health insurance providers: $60 billion
40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $10,200/$27,500: $32 billion
Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs: $27 billion
Impose 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices: $20 billion
Raise 7.5% Adjusted Gross Income floor on medical expenses deduction to 10%: $15.2 billion
Limit contributions to flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans to $2,500: $13 billion
All other revenue sources: $14.9 billion
Original budget estimates included a provision to require information reporting on payments to corporations, which had been projected to raise $17 billion, but the provision was repealed.

Who is going to mandate all of this…….16,000 additional Armed IRS Agents….Welcome to Nightmare on Main Street……Unemployment will skyrocket to 20%. Crime….well look at what both Obama and Holder have gotten away with after only 3+ years……Checks in the Mail….Gringos…..see you in Stalingrad… Horses?

Sarah Fields answers:

Here is a listing of only 20 of the tax increases.

1. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate)
2. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion)
3. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion)
4. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010)
5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010)
6. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010)
7. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011)
8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011)
9. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012)
10. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013)
11. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013)
12. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/Jan 2013)
13. High Medical Bills Tax ($15.2 bil/Jan 2013)
14. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/Jan 2013)
15. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D ($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)
16. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)
17. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014)
18. Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014) Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years
19. Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/Jan 2014)
20. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans

George asks…

Is their health insurance price discrimination in NJ based on health status? Please read details first.?

The NJ state government insurance web site ( states that NJ health insurers must “establish community rates — which are rates that apply to all people who purchase the same IHC plan and do not vary based on an individual person’s . . . health status. However, carriers may use modified community rates for the Basic and Essential Plan (B&E Plan) where rates may vary based on age, gender and geographic location. Health status is not a permissible rating factor for any plan.” Does this mean that if a person who has a serious, chronic condition (e.g., cancer), and has continuous coverage under an old plan which expires under COBRA, that person can buy a new individual plan and not have to pay any more than a healthy person?

Sarah Fields answers:

My understanding is that if you have continuous healthcare coverage through COBRA, which typically would have previously been a group plan, it is automatically convertable to an individual medical plan regardless of pre-existing conditions (because it wouldn’t be a pre-existing condition because you’re converting current insurance you had prior to the condition existing). But I’m licensed in the state of Arizona, so it may be different in NJ. If I were you, I would just contact a few insurance agents and ask.

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