DOH Fixes Foster Care Dental Loophole In Medicaid Managed Care

Jul 7, 2015

Leon County's "Molar Express" dental clinic is one of several in eight counties that will once again serve foster care children.
Credit Leon County Health Department

The Florida Department of Health has closed a loophole in the state’s healthcare programs for low income families. The Department has made a deal to provide dental services to foster care children in eight counties.

When Florida transitioned to a privatized health insurance program for the poor, the state inadvertently left out some foster kids—at least when it comes to dental care. The issue arose in February, when a caller raised concerns on WFSU’s public affairs program, Perspectives.

“It makes no sense to me that children in state custody cannot get dental services from the Florida Department of Health. It just doesn’t make sense," said John, a foster parent from Leon County.

The Florida Dental Association was the guest on the  program. The FDA says it took the concern to the Florida Department of Health, and found the issue affected at least eight counties: Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Marion, Suwannee, Taylor, Volusia and Wakulla.

“Unfortunately, sometimes families fall between the stages, and into the gap. But with the collaborative effort with the Florida Department of Health, that concern was relayed and these counties got the contract with the dental benefits manager, said, Joe Anne Hart, Director of Government Affairs for the FDA.

The Florida Department of Health has secured a contract with those health departments to provide dental care to foster kids. According to a News Service of Florida report, the number of children in foster care has increased In the last two years, to 22,000 statewide, up from 17,591 in 2013.