New tool launched to assess scope of Medicaid adult dental coverage – InsuranceNewsNet

Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker categorizes benefits to help identify potential areas for improvement

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®, in partnership with the American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute, Center for Healthcare Strategies, Inc.and the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP), announced the release of an innovative new resource to better assess and understand the extent of Medicaid adult dental coverage in each state.

This press release is multimedia. Read the full press release here:

The Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker is an interactive tool that allows policymakers, administrators, and advocates to easily understand where a given state’s Medicaid adult dental benefits program stands on a continuum from no dental benefits to extended benefits, helping to identify areas for improvement and expansion.

“Lack of dental insurance is a driving factor in the vast health disparities that exist in underserved and marginalized communities,” said Myechia Minter-JordanMD, MBA, President and CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. “Recent research has shown that increasing dental coverage is a policy lever that can make a difference in more equitable access to dental care. Our hope is that this new tool will educate administrators, policymakers, and advocates so they can design and strengthen Medicaid dental benefits that meet the oral health needs of millions of adults across the country who don’t currently have no access to this critical care. ”

Four leading oral health and health policy organizations have created this new coverage checker to help stakeholders better understand current benefits and get clear guidance on how to improve coverage. The organizations first created an updated, evidence-based definition of a broad Medicaid adult dental benefit, then developed a consensus assessment survey, completed by state dental directors, to collect detailed benefit information. dental care for adults offered by the Medicaid program in each state.

“The coverage checker allows us to evaluate Medicaid programs based on very specific types of dental services covered by the program as well as annual dollar limits. This is a huge step forward in understanding the oral health policy landscape,” said Marko VujicicPhD, Chief Economist and Vice President of ADA Health Policy Institute.

The Coverage Auditor examines coverage for specific procedures and services, including authorized frequency, in eight categories of services that are most often reimbursed by employer dental insurance plans and are essential to the maintenance of good health. oral health throughout life.

“Oral health is essential to overall health and there are significant disparities for those who do not have access to dental services,” said Hemi Tewarson, president and CEO of the NASHP. “This tool gives a more complete picture of dental coverage across the country, providing state leaders with data to help inform policy decisions and innovation.”

Medicaid is a key source of health care coverage for more than 80 million people in United States. Although states are required to provide comprehensive dental benefits to children covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), dental coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries is optional for states.

While most states provide at least emergency/emergency dental benefits (defined differently by states) for adults, nearly a third of all states do not provide dental care beyond emergency procedures. emergency. According to new data from the second annual State of America’s Oral Health Equity Survey from the CareQuest Institute, 77 million adults in the United States do not have dental insurance.

Recent studies reveal the following benefits of comprehensive Medicaid coverage:

  • Better access to dental care can lead to lower medical care costs for people who are pregnant or have chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

  • Dental coverage dramatically reduces costly emergency department (ED) visits for dental issues. National dental emergency room visits cost approximately $2.1 billion per year, but nearly 79% of these visits could have been handled in a dental practice, saving up to $1.7 billion per year.

  • Children whose parents have Medicaid dental coverage are more likely to have had a dental visit in the past year and less likely to have deferred dental work.

  • Adults who obtain dental coverage through Medicaid report improved oral health and employability.

Visit the CareQuest Institute website to access the new coverage checker.

About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit organization advocating for a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We achieve this through our work in grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education, as well as our leadership in dental and health benefits. innovation. We collaborate with thought leaders, healthcare providers, patients and local, state and federal stakeholders, to accelerate the transformation of oral healthcare and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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Source: CareQuest Institute for Oral Health

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