States Limit Dental Coverage Increasing Expenses on Services
The overall concerns about the end of Medicaid coverage for dental care in California and Oregon are growing and a lot of patients having serious dental problems started vising emergency rooms. Dentists noticed that the number of visits to emergency rooms has nearly doubled and dentists are rather afraid of unintended cases when patients appear to be forced to use emergency care. Besides, the cost of services for the states may appear to be much higher than the cost of Medicaid coverage for dental services.
Now, about 15 states are providing Medicaid coverage to low income people and according to the Affordable Care Act, in 2020 the prices for dental care services will get down significantly. But, currently, a lot of states face a number of budget problems and patients will need to look for ways out in this situation. Besides, those people that hope to get the needed services will not be able to receive extractions and root canals when visiting emergency rooms.
This circumstance may delay the proper treatment as the only thing dentists can do is to prescribe pain killers. Patients are left to take medications and to suffer from dental conditions. According to the statistics, right after the cessation of Medicaid coverage, the number of visits to the emergency rooms in California has increased and makes up 4,400 times for one year. The most vulnerable layers of the society appeared to be ethnic minority groups as well as urban residents.
Considering the financial expenses, California spends about $2.9 million for dental care services compared to $1.6 million before the elimination of the dental care benefits for low income residents. It needs to be noted that since 2010 five more stated have reduced the number of dental services rendered under Medicaid. Additionally, such states as Missouri and Illinois start introducing limits to the mentioned coverage.