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More Privatized Medicaid Challenges; New Dental Plan Changes

July 17, 2018 4:00 pm by: Category: Featured, Recent News Leave a comment A+ / A-

Ever since the Governor unilaterally privatized Medicaid in 2016, the results have been disastrous for the people of Iowa. Iowa’s Medicaid Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) may have dentists across Iowa no longer accepting Medicaid patients because the state shifted management of the dental system to for-profit companies.

Because of these changes, the University of Iowa Dental School announced they will no longer be taking new Medicaid patients.  This new policy is due to the low payments and confusing rules from the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that took over Iowa’s Medicaid program.

The University of Iowa has the only dental school in the state, and they often take challenging cases. They currently serve 8,000 adult Medicaid patients, and those patients will still receive services. However, any new Medicaid patients will be turned away.  Patients are already having trouble accessing dental care, and this will add to that problem.

The State of Iowa also announced new changes to DWP plans. Beginning on September 1, 2018, DWP will include an Annual Benefit Maximum (ABM), or an amount that a member cannot exceed during a certain timeframe. The ABM will be $1,000 from September 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 and applies to Medicaid members age 21 and older. Children are not affected by this change.

However, $1,000 ABM does not apply to the following services:

  • Preventative
  • Diagnostic
  • Emergent
  • Anesthesia in conjunction with oral surgery procedures

The DWP is part of Iowa’s Medicaid program, and helps Iowa’s most vulnerable population with oral hygiene and care.

If you have any questions regarding this change, please contact the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise Provider Services Unit at 1-800-338-7909, or email at

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