DentaQuest agreed with an NDC report on extending Medicaid benefits for disabled Americans but further said it should extend to all Medicaid recipients.
The report highlights the proven link between oral health and a person’s overall health and the importance of oral health care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
According to the report, Medicaid plays a critical role in determining what care is available to the 60% of individuals with I/DD who receive health care coverage through their state’s Medicaid program.
Based on the findings, NCD makes specific recommendations for changes at the federal and state levels to ensure state Medicaid programs across the country include adult dental coverage for people with I/DD.
The report also detailed how the expanded coverage would lead to savings for participating states.
“This report proves that providing Medicaid dental benefits for adults with I/DD — 60% of whom rely on Medicaid for their health coverage — is more cost effective than continuing to exclude those benefits,” said Steve Pollock, president and chief executive officer for DentaQuest. “It is also more ethical — coverage would address a significant disparity in care, reduce chronic pain, improve quality of life and bolster self-confidence.”
DentaQuest also supports extending dental benefits to all adults on Medicaid, calling it a good policy. A 2019 DentaQuest survey also found that it was a popular policy, with nearly 80% of Americans supporting the benefit.
“Providing adult dental coverage can lead the way to reducing total health care spending, lowering complications of diabetes and other diseases, and improving overall health outcomes for all,” said Pollock. “The impact, the need, and the value are all clear. Ultimately, every state Medicaid program must include dental benefits for all adults.”