Apple Health Dental Partners:
As part of 2019-2021 budget, the Washington State Legislature has directed the Health Care Authority (HCA) to halt the rollout of the new Apple Health managed care dental program. Legislators called for the HCA to report back to them and the Governor’s office in November 2019 with the best options for the program’s future. Until a new option is chosen, the existing Apple Health/Medicaid dental program, managed by the HCA, will remain in place. Watch for additional information about the Apple Health Dental program from the HCA in the coming weeks and months.
This news comes after a lengthy process where we, along with two other carriers, were selected as Apparently Successful Bidders to support the managed care dental program. While we are surprised by this decision, we are optimistic that this pause will lead to better outcomes in the future with a program that provides greater access and better oral health to the most underserved populations in Washington. Late in the legislative process, budget language was proposed that would have reduced funding to the Medicaid dental program. We believe the program is already underfunded. As advocates for both patients and providers, we believe the Legislature’s decision to pause the program was the best course of action.
We appreciate all the hard work of dentists and dental care providers as we prepared for the transition to the managed care dental program. Thank you for enrolling in our network, attending training classes, and taking all the steps necessary to ensure a seamless transition for your patients. We will continue to work with the HCA and our dental partners to improve access for patients, increase reimbursements for dental care providers and produce better oral health outcomes for Apple Health patients.
As we said at the beginning of this journey, our roots are in Washington, and we remain committed to serving patients and dentists and contributing to an improved Medicaid dental program.
Thank you for your involvement with the Apple Health Dental program.
Mark Mitchke & Cindy Snyder