Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks on Unintentional Denial of Routine Dental Care for Children and Pregnant Women
Louisville, KY – In the midst of the political toxicity that has surrounded the proposed 1115 waiver, we at Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) have consistently commended Governor Bevin and his administration for protecting children, pregnant women, and former foster youth up to age 26 from changes in coverage as the state sought to transition Medicaid through the 1115 waiver.
We, therefore, have been surprised and disappointed to learn that, as a result of the administration’s response to the Medicaid ruling on Kentucky HEALTH, Medicaid-eligible children and pregnant women are experiencing the denial of routine dental care. We have heard from numerous dental providers across the state around these seemingly unintended denials. Another population we have concerns around is former foster youth, and we hope that the administration is monitoring whether their coverage is being impacted. Additionally, the direct calls we have received have all been around oral health but the issues would be just as applicable and crucial to vision care if that has also been impacted.
Given the statements from the administration over the past year, we assume this is an unintended result of changed administrative procedures rather than a seminal change in policy. Regardless, the situation must be remedied in the immediate.
KYA calls on the administration to take immediate action to ensure that Medicaid-eligible children, pregnant women and – if applicable – former foster youth have access to the uninterrupted dental coverage to which the administration had previously committed. To honor its word and its values, the Bevin Administration should immediately commit to reimbursing and notifying providers for all children, pregnant women, and former foster youth who had Medicaid coverage as of June 30, 2018.
These populations need action from the Governor TODAY! They cannot and should not have to wait for weeks for a resolution to this situation.