Oral health coverage and health care reform

The Pierce County Oral Health Coalition is proud to organize a presentation on Feb. 12, on oral health coverage issues and health care reform. Continuing education (CE) credits are available.

  • Restoration of adult dental Medicaid benefits in Washington State.  Presentation by Dianne Baum, Dental Program Administrator, Washington Health Care Authority, 1-2 p.m.
  • Pediatric dental benefits on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (HBE). Presentation by Christine Gibert, HBE Senior Policy Analyst, 2-3 p.m.

The first presentation by Baum begins at 1 p.m., followed by Gibert at 2 p.m. Both presentations will take place at Evergreen State College-Tacoma Campus, located at 1201 6th Street, Tacoma, WA 98405. For a map, please go here.

The event is recommended for oral health professionals and providers and individuals and groups who work with populations who may eligible for these new benefits made possible through health care reform at the state and federal level.

Lunch will be provided; please RSVP by Feb. 6 at, or use our contact page.  Space may be limited. A copy of the flyer for the event can be found here.

Note: Gibert’s presentation was recently confirmed, and those who have already sent an RSVP for Baum’s presentation do not need to reply again.

Dental benefits and the Affordable Care Act

More than 8.5 million U.S. children are expected to receive dental coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) within five years.

However, only one of five Americans know that children’s dental services are one of the 10 “essential health benefits” included in the health reform law, according to a recent survey by the Children’s Dental Health Project.

Coverage for children’s dental services continues to be available through the Medicaid program, including programs that existed prior to the ACA.

Informing Medicaid-eligible families of the new dental benefit, and stressing that dental health as an essential part of one’s overall health, remains a community-wide challenge.

In Pierce County, numerous groups, including PCOHC member organizations, are working to educate and assist residents apply for medical and dental benefits through the state-run web site called the Washington Healthplanfinder.  Given the results from the national survey, local advocates and dental professionals still face hurdles sharing news about the ACA’s oral health coverage for children and the importance of utilizing those benefits to improve oral health community-wide.