Governor Tony Evers included a multi-pronged oral health package in the 2019-21 biennial budget, including a $43.4 million investment addressing the following areas:
- Increased dental Medicaid reimbursement rates for non-profit providers by 50 percent if at least 50 percent of their patients are enrolled in Medicaid. For-profit providers serving at least 5 percent of Medicaid patients would see a 30 percent increase.
- Authorization of dental therapy licensure and funding for Wisconsin colleges willing to create a dental therapy education program
- Increased funding for Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile to expand the program’s capacity to provide preventive school-based oral health services to children across the state
- Increased funding to low income and community dental clinics to provide safety net services to Medicaid and uninsured patients
- Incentivizing providers to serve in rural areas by expanding the rural dental loan repayment program
- Funding for staff at the Department of Health Services – Oral Health Program
Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition applaud the governor’s comprehensive dental access initiative and support all aspects of this multi-faceted approach. Follow the links to read the Journal Sentinel article and the Leader-Telegram article on Governor Evers’ plan to increase access to oral health services in Wisconsin.