Resource and webinar for advocates: Protect oral health in state marketplaces

By: Deborah Vishnevsky

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 (payment notice). The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) was dismayed to see that it included a number of regulatory changes that could directly harm families seeking private medical and dental coverage, especially on state marketplaces. For example, the policy notice significantly alters how Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) are treated, potentially threatening pediatric dental coverage available in marketplace plans. The rule’s changes may take effect soon — states are required to submit any modifications to EHB Benchmark plans by July 2, 2018

In response, it is imperative that oral health advocates speak up for children and families. Advocates can urge state leaders to maintain important consumer protections like comprehensive EHB Benchmark plans; tools that support families in choosing marketplace coverage that meets their needs; and guidance that helps parents understand a plan’s value.

It is imperative that oral health advocates speak up for children and families.

To assist advocates with taking action:

  • CDHP has produced this brief resource. It reviews the big changes that will impact families looking to purchase adequate oral health coverage, and offers advocates opportunities for action.
  • We will also host a webinar on May 30 at 2pmET with our partners at Community Catalyst (CC), who have also been tracking this rule. CDHP will review important changes made bythe rule, and experts at CC will share tips for getting organized and moving important conversations forward the state and local level. We will also have time for questions. RSVP today for the webinar on May 30 at 2pm ET.​

Oral health is critical to whole health and lifelong success. The US has made important strides to improve dental coverage and access to care for children and families. This new rule could make children's dental coverage “less essential” — and we cannot let that happen.

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children ages 6-12 suffered a toothache in the previous six months.
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