Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA), co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, introduced the bipartisan Foster Youth Dental Act of 2020, which will strengthen dental coverage under the Medicaid program for foster youth by increasing eligibility, providing incentives for dental providers, enhancing outreach efforts for enrollment, and protecting existing coverage for foster youth.
Youth enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP have access to oral health care but the utilization of oral care services varies by state and many foster youth fall through the cracks of care because oral health care is often treated as optional coverage. Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition among US children. Dental pain is a common reason for school absence and dental decay is linked to many other health problems. The Foster Youth Dental Act seeks to improve continuity of oral health care services for current and eligible former foster youth by expanding the age requirement and providing incentives for dental providers to serve eligible youth. Read more