People have been asking for clarification on Medicaid adult dental benefits. This confusion has stemmed from the timing of messages about HB 692, HB 2 and the open enrollment period for the Medicaid managed care organizations.

Dental Care for Medicaid RecipientsCSNI has provided the following information to help make things more clear.

It has been brought to our attention that there is some confusion related to a dental care benefit for adults that are on Medicaid. We hope to help clarify some of the information related to this to better inform recipients and their families of what is being offered.

HB 692, relative to dental care for Medicaid recipients, is a bill that went through the 2019 legislative session. When this bill was introduced, it required the Medicaid managed care programs in NH to provide a dental benefit to recipients that were in their plan. The bill moved through the legislative process and, like many other bills, the language was amended along the way. The final version of this bill gave authorization to the Medicaid managed care programs to be able to provide a dental benefit to Medicaid recipients in their program, at some point in the future. It also required the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services to convene a work group to develop an adult dental benefit that was a value-based plan. The Commissioner is then required to submit all proposed changes to state law that may be necessary to incorporate an adult dental benefit into a value-based care plan by October 1, 2019. DHHS will then required to present an update on the status of the plan each month to the Health and Human Services oversight committee and the fiscal committee.

A few things to know:
• This bill does not mandate the managed care companies to offer a dental care benefit at this time, rather it will happen sometime in the next few years.

• HB 2 (the budget vetoed by Gov. Sununu) had language to begin the implementation of this benefit by April 2021. This budget is in a Continuing Resolution at this time, and the dental care language, start date and plan may change.

• This summer another Managed Care organization -- AmeriHealth Caritas -- has been added to Medicaid health plan options, so now there are three Managed Care Organizations in the Medicaid program -- and a Special Open Enrollment is in effect from August 1 to August 31, 2019. This new company, AmeriHealth Caritas, is offering a dental care benefit for adults that are 21 years old and older. (They state there are some restrictions and limitations that apply.) AmeriHealth is offering this as a value-added service to its members, and is not required at this time; they are offering this as a value-added benefit.

To find the language to the final version of HB 692: http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billText.aspx?sy=2019&id=640&txtFormat=pdf&v=current

To find more information about the Special Open Enrollment period for the Medicaid managed care organizations and comparison of plans, click here to visit the MDS page on this or go to the DHHS website.