October 26, 2023
Consumer surveys from multiple states have revealed that people with insurance still go without critical services due to cost.1Most frequently reported is dental care, with respondents across insurance types foregoing dentures, root canals, extractions, and many other dental services. Looking to Medicaid as an example, this webinar will explore the impacts of going without dental care on the whole body and other high-cost medical conditions, and some causes behind it such as limited coverage for dental care and a lack of providers accepting certain insurance types. It will also capture policy solutions and strategies for state administrators and advocates for low- and middle-income communities to expand access to affordable care.
National studies have found that dental care presents the highest level of financial barriers, compared to other types of health care services regardless of insurance type,2
Medicaid offers some examples of how this can occur. Adult dental coverage is optional under state Medicaid programs, and as of 2023, only eight states offer an extensive Medicaid adult dental benefit.4 States also have significant flexibility with dental coverage and there is no standard packageof high-quality dental benefits across states. In addition, there is a dearth of dentists that will accept Medicaid insurances. National studies have found that adults with Medicaid or marketplace coverage are more likely than those with other types of insurance to experience provider network problems.5
Poor oral health is connected to a higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, complications in pregnancy and childbirth, and other conditions that are costly to treat.6 These conditions impact quality of life and can ultimately result in more intensive and higher cost medical care over a person's lifetime.
|The audience will include advocates, state officials, Medicaid administrators, and individuals working with low-income communities that use the Medicaid program.
|Welcome and introduction
|Gaps in Dental Coverage,
Consequences of Foregoing Care,
and Policy Solutions
|Kasey Wilson, Community Catalyst
|Impact on Affected Communities
|Marcy Bowers, Statewide Poverty Action Network
|Leveraging Stories and Engaging
|Emily Brice, Northwest Health Law Advocated