Leading Dental Benefits Provider Urges Medicaid, CHIP Enrollees to Visit Dentist Before Possible Loss of Coverage Amid Medicaid Unwinding
COVID-19 public health emergency continuous enrollment set to expire, states required to resume Medicaid redeterminations
DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is encouraging Medicaid and CHIP enrollees to receive oral health care services as the state resumes Medicaid redeterminations and disenrollments.
In response to COVID-19, the federal government established a public health emergency (PHE). Congress provided states additional funds and suspended annual Medicaid eligibility reevaluations to ensure Americans had continuous access to health care coverage amid the pandemic. Medicaid and CHIP enrollees totaled roughly 92.3 million by December 2022, an increase of more than 20 million from February 2020, just before PHE.
Now that the pandemic threat has eased, Congress has given states 14 months to review whether Medicaid enrollees are still eligible for the program, an enormous undertaking that may result in 18 million Americans losing their Medicaid or CHIP coverage. These individuals will need to find an appropriate alternative, though children will have an additional year of coverage before possible disenrollment.
The focus has primarily been for medical coverage, however dental benefits – comprehensive for children and expanded for adults in several states – remain critical to maintain important momentum improving oral health nationwide.
“We provide Medicaid dental coverage to more than 33 million Americans nationwide, all of whom must go through the reevaluation process that will determine whether that coverage will continue,” said Steve Pollock, president of DentaQuest. “We know that every state Medicaid program is doing everything it can to make this as seamless as possible, but this process is a vast and complicated undertaking. People may have already been disenrolled, so we're encouraging Medicaid and CHIP recipients to take advantage of their benefits now and visit their dentist for preventive and restorative care.”
As part of DentaQuest’s ongoing effort to promote preventive dental care and education and increase access to care, the organization is working to ensure eligible members have access to the dental care they need. DentaQuest also may have affordable coverage options for individuals no longer eligible for Medicaid after the redetermination process.
If you are due for an appointment, find a DentaQuest dentist near you.
DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Learn more at www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.