When the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires on May 11, 2023, approximately 15 million people are expected to lose the health coverage they have been receiving through Medicaid. Until now, however, little was known about how many adults may lose their Medicaid dental benefits when the PHE expires.
New data released by CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® reveals that more than 14 million adults in the US may lose dental coverage under the Medicaid redetermination process that began on April 1. As part of that redetermination process, states are required to begin conducting eligibility redeterminations and un-enrolling individuals determined to no longer be eligible for their state’s Medicaid program.
As people are removed from Medicaid and seek to secure coverage through other programs or the private market, there is no guarantee that they will reapply for coverage that will include dental care. This gap will likely have a greater impact on families of lower incomes and people of color.
Data for this report was extracted from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Quarterly Enrollment Data report. We also used data from our Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker, an interactive tool used to easily understand where each US state’s Medicaid adult dental benefits package falls on a continuum from no dental benefits to extensive benefits.
Our Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker currently provides data on adult coverage in place as of 2020. We are currently working with states to assess benefits in place as of December 31, 2022. Since 2020, several states have implemented new or expanded existing benefits for all adults including Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Texas does not offer dental coverage to adult members. Alabama, which also does not offer coverage to the majority of their adult members, implemented a robust benefit for pregnant and postpartum people this fall. Louisiana, which offers limited coverage to the majority of their adult members, implemented a similar dental benefit for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 2022.