Dental Coverage Coming in 2014 for More Coloradans
- The state of Colorado will soon provide a limited dental benefit for adults through Medicaid.
- This benefit will include access to preventive care, as well as treatment for dental problems like cavities and gum disease.
- The state Medicaid department is developing rules and procedures for patients and providers and is planning to launch the new dental coverage by mid-2014.
- The coverage is expected to be $1,000 per patient each year.
- Right now, children in Colorado have access to dental care through Medicaid and CHP+.
- As the state finalizes the program, we want to help keep you and your community informed. Please click here to access a flyer that you can distribute to your contacts, patients, community members, etc.
How will Colorado benefit from Medicaid dental coverage for adults?
Some 39,000 Coloradans visited emergency rooms last year for dental problems that could have been prevented by a dentist. Most of these visits were by low-income people who do not have access to dental care. Because they were unable to visit a dentist, they endured pain and suffering, missed work and experienced worse overall health.
This will change for the better since our state legislature passed a bill to add basic Medicaid dental care for Colorado adults. For the first time, some Coloradans would get the dental care they have long needed.
A Medicaid dental benefit for adults is vital. Oral health affects overall health. Gum disease is linked to medical conditions such as strokes, lung disease, low birth weight babies and heart disease. A dental benefit is especially critical for high-risk populations like pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly. A recent study of adults with Type II diabetes found that people who receive regular dental care had fewer hospital and emergency room visits. Similar benefits have been found for other medical conditions that are linked to dental disease.
Establishing adult Medicaid dental coverage is another important step toward making Colorado healthier through access to a dentist.