The United States has always faced a challenge to provide oral health care access to low-income individuals.
The problem is that poor oral health can increase the risks of chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Poor oral health also leads to reduced employability, lost workdays, and the use of costly acute care services.
The Affordable Care Act aims to address these problems, and it paved the way for more states to expand Medicaid coverage not only for adults but children too.
The extension of Medicaid coverage means more opportunities for much-needed dental services for low-income families, helping avoid the costly and dangerous consequences of dental disease that remained untreated.
The health care coverage of the Medicaid includes parents and their children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those individuals with disabilities.
Despite the federal rules requiring comprehensive dental services coverage for children, the adult coverage remains optional; that’s why finding a Medicaid dental office that offers their services to qualified individuals, from children, adults, to disabled individuals, is essential.
Getting the chance to avail dental benefits from a Medicaid dentist not only ensure your oral health but your overall health as well.
Read on to learn more about Medicaid dental care and the benefits of finding a Medicaid dentist in the USA.
Before delving on the benefits of finding a Medicaid dentist, it’s essential to understand what the program is all about first.
Medicaid provides health coverage to USA citizens who are low-income earners, pregnant, children, disabled or differently-abled, and elderly. Medicaid coverage varies in every state because each state can have unique coverage, whether for medical or dental care.
What this means is that even if the federal law requires it, states can have the option to modify their coverage of the Medicaid program depending on the state government laws.
What’s The Difference Between Medicaid and Medicare?
Some people get confused with Medicaid and Medicare dental coverage. While the two programs have almost similar names, they differ in the way they get implemented.
Such a similarity confuses individuals who plan to find out more about their dental care options.
A significant difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that one is primarily based on age, and the other is based on income.
Medicare services benefit people who are in a specific age range. Medicaid, on the other hand, helps individuals with limited financial income, regardless of their age.
Medicare assists people sixty-five years and older. The program also helps people under the age of sixty-five, given that they have specific medical diseases and disabilities that qualify them for a benefit.
The coverage only applies to the affected individual and doesn’t include the entire family. Medicaid is an entirely different program where income is what makes a person eligible for benefits.
Medicaid aims to help individuals and families who are unable to get health care because of limited financial resources.
In addition, eligible people can apply for Medicaid benefits anytime their situation warrants it since there’s no need for you to wait for the enrollment period to open, unlike in Medicare.
How Does Finding A Medicaid Dentist Work In Your Advantage?
If you still aren’t convinced that finding a dental office that offers Medicaid coverage will be a good move for you, take a look at the benefits of finding one below,
Increasing Number Of Medicaid Dentists
Almost every state now has a dental office that offers Medicaid services. The number continues to increase for the last four or five years.
What it means is that there will always be the right dentist for you no matter what dental procedure you need at the moment.
Medicaid Coverage Include Children
If you’re a parent, chances are you want the best for your child in every aspect of life, and it includes their dental health.
If the same applies to you, then it should be a piece of good news for you that Medicaid services cover children, in fact, they’re a priority.
It’s mandatory to help children coming from low-income families with dental health issues. Every state has to ensure that children won’t suffer from cavities, tooth decay, and toothaches.
The benefits that your child can get include all solutions under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment or EPSDT benefit.
The EPSDT consists of tooth restoration, infection treatment, pain relief, dental health maintenance, and any other service deemed necessary.
Medicaid program requires every state to cover the same services that private insurance plans include for the dental health of children.
This would mean a chance for you to avoid spending hefty amounts on getting screening for illnesses, routine cleaning, and a designated dentist.
Medicaid Coverage Also Include Adults
While it’s true that adult coverage is optional under Medicaid, there’s now an increasing number of states proving at least limited adult dental benefits beyond emergency services.
Some states also utilize managed care organizations to include adults in their dental services. As you probably already know, excellent dental health in adults can provide the following benefits:
- Employability – Adult Medicaid beneficiaries have been able to obtain and keep their jobs after receiving services to enhance their oral health.
- Prevents Inflammatory Diseases – Untreated oral diseases may result in a worsening of conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
- Detects Cancer – Oral cancer is a growing problem among adults like other ovarian, stomach, thyroid, bone, liver, and brain cancers.
- Avoids Adverse Outcomes For Pregnant Women – Untreated dental issues in women may also result in pregnancy complications or adverse outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm labor.
- Protects Adults With Special Needs – The elderly and those individuals with disabilities may have behavioral, cognitive, or physical limitations that impair their regular self-care. Such impairment may result in poor oral health, and when this problem remains untreated, it can lead to more complicated illnesses. Thus, the need to find a Medicaid dentist to help protect them.
You Can Save A Lot Compared To Being Commercially Insured
While there’s no problem with getting private dental benefits insurance, if you can afford it, most low-income families can’t afford its hefty fees.
It’s the reason why finding a Medicaid dentist will always be an excellent move for people with limited budgets for dental health care.
Medicaid lets Americans with low income to experience rates of access to dental care that’s comparable to those individuals with private coverage. The benefits discussed above should be enough to encourage you to find a Medicaid dentist in the USA for your family’s overall health care.