Colorado Medicaid and Dental Coverage
Does Colorado’s Medicaid Program Cover Dental Care?
The short answer is: Yes. As of July 1, 2014, anyone enrolled in the Colorado’s Medicaid program (Health First Colorado) has access to dental services. The Colorado Medicaid dental program provides people age 21 and older – who are enrolled in Colorado’s Medicaid program – with as much as $1,000 in dental care services per state fiscal year.
This means that people enrolled in Health First Colorado have access to standard dental care that can potentially prevent minor conditions from turning into more expensive and complicated health problems down the road.
Any adult, who was enrolled in the Colorado Medicaid program as of April 1, automatically became eligible for the program’s preventive dental coverage, which was previously only offered to emergency adult patients or young children. But, the program’s preventative services that started in April were limited to services for diagnostic imaging, minor fillings, and general cleanings.
Today, however, in addition to those standard preventative services, enrolled adults can now receive better and more comprehensive dental care, some of which may include the following:
- Root canals
- Tooth extractions
- Root planing (Conventional Periodontal Therapy)
- Complete or partial dentures
- Periodontal scaling
- Other kinds of procedures that require pre-authorization are also available
Complete and partial denture benefits are an added addition to the existing $1,000 cap per fiscal year for each state, but will be restricted to one set for every seven years per enrollee.
Benefits of Colorado Dental Medicaid
The SB13-242 bill enables each enrolled adult to spend up to $1,000 in dental benefits including exams, scheduled work, and dental cleanings. Before, adults had to suffer an emergency before they were covered by getting help for their impacted tooth or other serious dental issue at a dental clinic or hospital emergency room. Colorado children already receive public dental care either through Child Health Plan Plus or Medicaid.
Dental services are also very pleased with the new bill as well since it includes a raise in the usually low rates that Medicaid traditionally pays dentists who work with patients of Medicaid.
Colorado Medicaid and DentaQuest Partner-Up
Colorado Medicaid and DentaQuest have teamed-up in order to help people locate good dental services. All members of Colorado Medicaid will receive a DentaQuest welcome packet that includes the necessary information regarding dental coverage benefits as well as where to get more important information and how to utilize the benefits.
Colorado Medicaid and Finding a Dentist
One key responsibility of DentaQuest is to assist Colorado Medicaid to boost the number of dentists that will ultimately accept Medicaid in addition to helping members of Medicaid locate a dentist. For quickest results, visit DentaQuest.com in order to find a dentist who works with Medicaid near you.
Why Everyone Needs Good Dental Care
Regular access to good dental care is crucial in order to prevent many harmful diseases from developing. Studies reveal that over 90 systemic human diseases (organs that generally involve the entire body) manifested orally. Many of these diseases include kidney and heart disease, pancreatic cancer, oral cancer, leukemia, and diabetes.
In general, a beautiful smile affects an individual’s self-esteem, general well-being, and their career opportunities as well. For example, research illustrates that a person’s healthy smile literally increases the odds that they’ll get a job offer.
However, people who earn less money in general likely can’t afford comprehensive dental care and are thus put at a disadvantage overall. In fact, nearly 29 percent of all adults who earn under $15,000 per year eventually lost most of their permanent teeth as compared to people who earn a salary of $50,000 or more per year.
Because Medicaid patients have more available benefits, there’s additionally a greater need for more dental service providers to sign up and participate in the program for Colorado Medicaid as well. Dentists are vital to improve Colorado’s underserved patients regarding their oral health issues.