Few Dentists in Wisconsin Accept Patients Enrolled in BadgerCare Plus
Few dentists in Wisconsin are accepting patients insured by BadgerCare Plus, and children in particular are affected, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. According to the state Department of Health Services, fewer than one in four children ages three to 19 insured through BadgerCare Plus were seen by a dentist in 2007.
In fiscal year 2008, the state budgeted $37.50 annually for each person enrolled in BadgerCare Plus or other Medicaid programs. Dentists receive $13 to $16 in reimbursement for an oral exam for a BadgerCare Plus beneficiary (Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/9). Wisconsin pays dentists about 40% of their fees for treating BadgerCare Plus beneficiaries. To encourage more dentists to accept members of state public health insurance programs, states should pay dentists at least 60% to 65% of the costs of providing care, according to a 2008 report by the National Academy for State Health Policy.
Legislation to increase funding for dental care in Wisconsin has not been successful so far and is unlikely to pass this year because the state faces large budget deficits (Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/10).