Toothaches can occur anytime; if left untreated, the pain might worsen. Dental treatments can be expensive, and you should always be prepared for such situations. This is why having dental insurance in such circumstances can be very helpful. On the other hand, those without dental insurance frequently have financial difficulties covering those exorbitant emergency dental care bills.
Fortunately, an alternative option for emergency dental care is to go to a dentist near you who accepts Medicaid. This article will explain how to find the best emergency dentist in your area where Medicaid covers your treatment.
What is Medicaid & how does it help cover emergency dental care?
Medicaid is a US government-funded health insurance program for low-income families, adults with disabilities, children, and elderly citizens. It was created to provide coverage for all medically necessary treatments, including emergency dentistry. Emergency dental care includes everything from repairing broken teeth with a filling to extracting severely infected teeth.
Although the federal government and the states jointly fund Medicaid, the state government decides its rules and regulations regarding providing health coverage. Therefore, the type of coverage offered by the program may vary from state to state.
It is pertinent to mention that this only applies to adult populations, as children and minors under the age of 21 are fully covered by Medicaid, including emergency dental care, regardless of where they live.
What kinds of services are offered by emergency dentists that take Medicaid?
Emergency dentists that take Medicaid typically offer a variety of services, including emergency dental care and preventative services. Emergency dental care services may include emergency fillings, crowns, extractions, root canals, emergency cleanings, and other treatments to relieve pain or repair damage.
Preventative services typically include regular check-ups and cleanings, fluoride treatments, x-rays, sealants, and other treatments to help keep teeth healthy and prevent dental problems in the future.
Some emergency dentists may also offer cosmetic dentistry services such as veneers to improve the appearance of a patient’s smile. However, It is best to contact your local emergency dentist to find out what services they offer and which ones are covered under Medicaid.
How do I find an emergency dentist near me that takes Medicaid?
Note that not all emergency dentists accept Medicaid. Here’s how you can find emergency dentists near you that take Medicaid.
Step 1: Check whether your state offers emergency dental care for adults under Medicaid
Except for Alabama, Maryland, and Tennessee, all other 47 US states and the District of Columbia cover emergency dental treatments for adults with Medicaid. So, suppose you are not a resident of the three states mentioned above and want to know about the best emergency dentists in your area who accept Medicaid. In that case, you should contact your local Medicaid office or visit their website to find the nearest available emergency dentist.
Step 2: Research the internet
If you wish to skip the hassle of contacting your state’s Medicaid office, it is recommended to search online. A quick Google search will yield a list of emergency dental care centers that accept Medicaid. Simply enter “emergency dentist near me that accepts Medicaid” into the Google search bar, and then narrow down your choices based on user reviews, ratings, and distance from your location.
Step 3: Then, call emergency dentists
Once you’ve narrowed down a few emergency dentists in your area, you can call and ask them directly if they accept Medicaid. You can also ask any other questions, such as whether they will help you submit the charges for treatment to Medicaid or whether you will have to do it on your own. Also, it’s a good idea to find a friendly and accommodating dental professional, especially when treating your children.
Step 4: Compare the services and benefits
Before finalizing, comparing the benefits offered by different emergency dentists can help you decide which one to choose. Make sure you enquire about the specific treatment you want, as not every dentist provides all the options you may need.
Additionally, it would help if you enquire about the fees and costs to be expected, as Medicaid will cover your emergency dental treatment only to a certain extent. You will have to bear the additional expenses if the cost exceeds the limit.
What are the eligibility criteria for Medicaid?
The eligibility requirements to enroll as a Medicaid beneficiary differs from state to state. However, Medicaid generally requires the following:
- You should be a legal resident of the United States (this means that you should be residing legally in the country, and you have a valid work permit, etc.). However, Immigrants with “qualified non-citizens” status are also eligible if they can fulfill the state’s residency and income requirements.
- Your household income should be less than 138% of the annual Federal Poverty Level (FPL). However, some states allow you to be enrolled with higher income levels.
- Those without a spouse should own total assets, including cash (apart from their homes, vehicles, and other necessary things) worth no more than $2,000 to be eligible. Some states may allow a higher limit, so don’t forget to check with your state’s respective department.
- You should be a child or a young adult between 0 and 21 years to be eligible for Medicaid.
How much do you need to shell out for an emergency dentist visit with Medicaid?
Medicaid covers most emergency procedures, including damage repair, dental surgeries, and other treatments. However, it varies from state to state, and most states have certain limits on expenses they bear for emergency dental procedures under Medicaid.
For example, while Alaska has an annual threshold of $1,150 per beneficiary for emergency dental treatments, Arizona covers up to $1000 per year.
Calculating the exact costs of your treatment with Medicaid can get confusing. It is better to check with your state’s Medicaid department or contact your local Medicaid office or a dentist nearby to find out the estimated cost associated with the treatment.
While the majority of states offer emergency dental care to Medicaid recipients, there are certain exceptions, so make sure to check your state’s Medicaid rules and regulations before you visit any dentist. Also, make sure to enquire about the fees and costs beforehand, as Medicaid will reimburse only a limited portion.
If you have doubts about the type of treatment you require, consult with your dentist and discuss the possible solutions to ease your pain.