Governor signs bill granting poor children more flexibility in dental care

Under a budget bill signed last week by the governor, some low-income Sacramento children who have tried unsuccessfully to get dental treatment will be able to leave managed care for a program that offers more flexibility. Under the new provisions, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, parents who haven’t been able to get appointments for their children’s dental care can contact the state Department of Health Care Services.

If the department cannot set up an appointment within a reasonable time – to be determined on a case-by-case basis – the child can move into the “fee-for-service” Medi-Cal dental program. If the department can resolve the access problem, the child will stay in managed care.

The measure also creates new accountability and reporting requirements for dental plans participating in Medi-Cal managed care programs in both Sacramento and Los Angeles counties.

It went into effect this week. Currently, dental managed care is mandatory for the roughly 100,000 Sacramento County children on Medi-Cal. But the program has left many children waiting months for treatment for painful, rotted or broken teeth.

More Stories from This Project

Bill passed could offer dental choice to poor Sacramento kids

Some low-income children in Sacramento County who have tried but failed to get dental care would have an escape route under a bill awaiting action by the governor. Currently, dental managed care is mandatory for the roughly 100,000 Sacramento County...

LA-area legislators criticize county’s dental program for poor children

Southern California legislators are vowing to press for changes in Los Angeles County’s dental program for poor children, saying it’s unacceptable that fewer than one in four kids on managed care saw a dentist last year. “Obviously, I’m concerned,”...

Dental care plan audited by California ceases operations

Community Dental Services, a managed care dental plan with about 16,000 Medi-Cal members in Sacramento and Los Angeles Counties, will cease operations and transfer its enrollees to Liberty Dental Plan on June 1, state officials announced Friday....
  • 1 of 6

Photos from This Project

Comments

Other Articles

Stress case: What’s behind the increased demand for mental health counseling from SoCal college students?

On February 7, author Claudia Boyd-Barrett appeared on Southern California Public Radio's Air Talk with Larry Mantle to discuss her project about...

At some schools, mental health battle includes the Bible

This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register. All kinds of colleges are dealing with unprecedented student demand for mental health...

California colleges, like USC, are in the midst of a mental health care crisis. Can help come fast enough?

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Daily News. “Are you actually going to kill yourself?” Sociology Professor...
  • 1 of 254

Other Audio

© 2018 Center for Health Reporting

Login