|Why We Accept Dental Medicaid
I have enjoyed
practicing dentistry in Longmont Colorado for more than 4 years. Often we would
be asked if we accepted Medicaid. Traditionally, Medicaid dental reimbursement
rates have been so low that it was difficult for a dental practice to meet
their expenses and survive with Medicaid patients. Before Colorado started its
new Dental Medicaid program in July, I had heard stories that the very few
Medicaid dental offices in Colorado often overbooked patients, making them sit
for hours waiting to see the dentist. Time with each patient was minimized to
maximize income for the office.
Earlier this year I read an online story
Denver Post's website about Colorado adding comprehensive
dental benefits for adult patients. Reimbursement rates were improved so
payments were similar to some traditional insurance plans. I was thrilled at
this news and we were one of the first dental offices in Longmont to become a
Dental Medicaid office.
A few weeks ago, one of my Medicaid patients
made me realize something that I already knew in my heart. She was a very
pleasant lady in her late fifties who had very well maintained teeth showing
years of excellent dental care. A few of her older fillings were wearing out
and I recommended replacing them with new fillings. She looked at me and said
"Not too long ago I lost my job and I need to be very careful with my
expenses". She continued, "I have this new dental insurance. I don't know what
my deductible and co-payment amounts will be."
I told her that her
"insurance" would cover 100% of the fillings, up to $1000 per year, with no
deductible and no co-payment. Her face brightened and she told me how wonderful
this was. She truly appreciated this "help" she was receiving.
have been news reports of over utilization and other abuses in the Medical
Medicaid program in Colorado. Medicaid has had a negative stigma in Colorado
and other states. My experience has been that the administrators of the Dental
Medicaid program in Colorado, DentaQuest, have effectively administrated the
program to maximize benefits to these Coloradans who need assistance with their
dental care without the waste and abuses traditionally associated with
Medicaid. As my patient reinforced to me, Dental Medicaid in Colorado is
similar to other types of
insurance. There is nothing wrong with being a Dental Medicaid
We treat all of our patients equally. We welcome Longmont
Dental Medicaid patients.
Bruce E. Howell,