A new report from the Kansas Dental Project finds that dental services are unavailable in more than one third of the counties in Kansas for people covered by KanCare. KanCare is the new, privatized Medicaid system in Kansas.
Backers are fond of pointing out that the three private insurance companies now operating Medicaid are offering benefits not previously available through Medicaid—like preventive dental care for adults. However, coverage does not guarantee there is a dentist willing to accept it.
According to the Kansas Dental Project, there are 37 counties where there aren't any dentists in the KanCare provider network. That means 28,000 Kansans covered by KanCare have to travel outside their home county to find a dentist who will accept their insurance.
Suzanne Wikle, who heads the Kansas Dental Project, sees that as one more reason that Registered Dental Practitioners are needed to ease the state’s dental workforce shortage.