$61M invested to boost dental reimbursement improving access for low-income Minnesotans

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced Thursday the state is "taking a major step toward addressing significant and longstanding gaps in dental care by raising state payment rates for dentists."

Included in Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget signed into law by Governor Walz last year, the dental reforms include funding to raise the rates of reimbursement and implement other changes over the next four years.

Low-income Minnesotans with Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare are more likely to have dental disease than Minnesotans with employer-sponsored insurance, and they also have a harder time getting dental care. For example, over 60% of Minnesota children living in poverty did not see a dentist in 2019.

“Our goal is to create more options for Minnesotans who need dental care,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “By supporting dentists with fair rates, this investment will make it easier for people in public health care programs to get the dental care that’s so important to their daily lives and overall well-being. The strong support and tireless work of our legislative committee chairs in both the House and Senate made this change possible.”

How to find dental care if you have Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare:

  • If you are a health plan member, you must go to a dentist in your plan’s network for most services. Contact your health plan’s member services staff, who can help you find a provider.
  • If you are not a health plan member, you can go to any dentist who accepts Minnesota Health Care Programs fee-for-service coverage. Find providers in the online MHCP Provider Directory, or call the MHCP Member Help Desk at 651-431-2670 or 800-657-3739 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To find out if you are eligible and to apply for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare:

  • Visit MNsure online.
  • For enrollment help, connect with a navigator in your community. Navigators can help in several different languages. Search the assister directory for your preferred language.
  • For help with questions or for a paper application, call the MinnesotaCare office at 651-297-3862 or 800-657-3672.
  • Reach out to your local county or Tribal office.
  • If you have a disability, contact the Disability Hub MN at 866-333-2466.
  • If you’re 65 or older, contact the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433.