Access to Care
All Maryland residents need access to affordable, comprehensive oral health care to prevent and treat oral disease, either through private insurance, Medicaid, or the Maryland Children’s Health Program. The 2011-2015 Maryland Oral Health Plan goals related to access focused on ensuring a dental home for all Marylanders, building an optimal oral health workforce, and strengthening the integration of oral health care and overall health care. The goals below expand on the focus areas from the first plan and expand them into actions that provide strategies to further expand access to oral health care through changes to public and private insurance policies, strengthening the dental workforce, and promoting closer communication between oral health professionals and other health professionals.
GOAL ONE: All Maryland children have comprehensive dental insurance coverage through public (Medicaid/MCHP) or private insurance.
- Action One: Ensure all children who are Medicaid/MCHP recipients receive the oral health services for which they are eligible.
- Action Two: Increase the number of children who are covered by dental insurance through commercial carriers.
- Action Three: Ensure that children whose coverage moves frequently – between Medicaid and qualified health plans under the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – have consistent coverage and access to services.
GOAL TWO: All Maryland adults have comprehensive dental insurance coverage through Medicaid or private insurance.
- Action One: Establish a comprehensive dental benefit for all adults who are Medicaid recipients.
- Action Two: Increase the number of adults with dental insurance through commercial carriers.
GOAL THREE: All Maryland residents have a dental home.
- Action One: Ensure a sufficient number of oral health professionals are available to provide oral health care to residents in or near their own communities.
- Action Two: Increase the number of dentists participating in Medicaid.
- Action Three: Increase the number of dentists participating in commercial insurance plan networks.
- Action Four: Develop and support service-delivery models for special populations.
GOAL FOUR: Strengthen the oral health safety net provider system.
- Action One: Expand the safety net provider system to serve more people who are uninsured or underinsured. (Note: This action will also help expand provider networks for Medicaid.)
- Action Two: Expand the capacity of private dental practices to provide oral health care to people who are uninsured and underinsured.
GOAL FIVE: Integrate the oral health care system within the medical health care system.
- Action One: Increase the number of primary care health professionals who routinely perform oral health risk assessments, apply fluoride varnish, and refer people to oral health care professionals.
- Action Two: Increase the ability and capacity of oral health care professionals to screen for chronic diseases and refer people to health care professionals.