MANCHESTER, N.H.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire, a managed care health plan serving New Hampshire Medicaid enrollees and part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, announced it will cover preventive, diagnostic, and basic restorative and periodontal care for its adult members. While these services are already covered for children enrolled in New Hampshire’s Medicaid program, AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire will be the only Medicaid managed care organization in the state to cover preventive and non-emergency dental care for members age 21 and older.
The benefit is effective immediately and covers the following:
- One routine exam and cleaning per year.
- One set of bite-wing x-rays every two years.
- Cavity fillings.
- Basic periodontal services.
Emergency extractions will continue to be directly covered by New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Poor oral health can negatively impact a person’s overall health and wellness. Research suggests that tooth decay and poor dental hygiene can be linked to diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. In very rare cases, poor dental health can be deadly.1 In addition, a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found $2.7 billion in dental‐related hospital emergency department visits in the U.S. over a three‐year period, with 30 percent of the visits coming from adults enrolled in Medicaid.2
AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire’s adult dental coverage aims to help reduce dental-related emergency room visits by allowing members to access preventive care and treat problems before they become severe.
“Oral health is an important component of one’s overall physical health, and we are proud to offer this value-added service that will help improve our members’ well-being and quality of life,” said AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire Market President Scott Westover. “Offering dental coverage to all of our members aligns with our integrated care model, which emphasizes caring for the whole body.”
“By including a value-added adult dental benefit, AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire opens the door to improved overall health and well-being to those impacted by dental disease,” said New Hampshire Oral Health Coalition Director Gail T. Brown. “Dental disease has been associated with more than 140 health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and pneumonia. A healthy mouth helps ensure the ability to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.”
Members with questions about the benefit, including how to find an in-network dental provider, should contact Member Services at 1-833-704-1177 (TTY 1-855-534-6730).
About AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire
AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire is a managed care organization serving enrollees in New Hampshire’s Medicaid Care Management program. AmeriHealth Caritas New Hampshire helps the state’s Medicaid population get care, stay well, and build healthy communities by addressing the acute and broader social factors that drive health outcomes. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritasnh.com.
1 AmeriHealth Caritas Aims to Reduce Barriers to Oral Health Care for Individuals with Disabilities. AmeriHealth Caritas press release, 11 April 2019. https://www.amerihealthcaritas.com/news/2019/041119-barriers-oral-health-disabilities.aspx
2 Allareddy, V; Rampa, S; Lee, MK; Nalliah, RP. Hospital-based emergency department visits involving dental conditions: profile and predictors of poor outcomes and resource utilization. Journal of the American Dental Association. Apr 2014; 145(4):331-337. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24686965