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Promoting Oral Health Benefits through Medicaid and CHIP Year-Round

National Children’s Dental Health Month may only last for a month, but dental care and bi-annual check-ups are important for kids and teens year-round. The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign has refreshed Campaign oral health materials which can support outreach and education activities all year.

Poor oral health is significantly associated  (PDF, 113.91 KB)  with increased odds of poor academic performance and missing days at school. When left untreated, issues like cavities and tooth decay can lead to pain and infection. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide dental health coverage for children and teens up to age 19. Enrolled children can get access to check-ups, x-rays, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, fillings, and more.

However, recent data trends show a decline in use of oral health services among those already enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Preliminary data show that nationally 9.1 million (50%) fewer dental health services were completed among children covered under Medicaid and CHIP between March and July 2020, compared to 2019 data. in the last year. The Think Teeth resources can help organizations promote the dental and oral health services for children, teens, and expectant mothers covered by Medicaid and CHIP.

New Resources Available Now

  • Informational videos in English and Spanish
    These videos share information on dental services that Medicaid and CHIP cover. They can be used in social media posts, embedded on your organization’s website, newsletters, or other communications shared with families and the community.
  • Revised posters, flyer, and tear-pad
    Organizations can help spread the word about the availability of children’s health coverage and help connect families with eligible children to application assistance. These newly updated materials can be placed around your community to help get the word out about Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Revised digital resources – buttons and web banners, social media content
    Social media platforms are also a great way to share resources with the community. The graphics and suggested copy can be used across platforms and tailored to be state specific. Additionally, web banners and buttons can direct online traffic to InsureKidsNow.gov where visitors can find more information on how to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP services and find a provider near them.
  • Watch the recent “Promoting Use of Childhood Dental Benefits Covered Under Medicaid and CHIP to Catch up on Care” webinar here.
    Watch Dr. Natalia I. Chalmers, D.D.S., M.H.Sc., Ph.D., a pediatric dentist, and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, discuss trends in oral health services among those enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. The video, full transcript, and presentation slides are available on the InsureKidsNow.gov website.

Upcoming Observances

There are national observance opportunities for partners to share Campaign materials to spread the word about the services and benefits of Medicaid and CHIP. Upcoming observances include:

  • National Minority Health Month (April)
  • National Public Health Week (April 5 – 11)
  • World Health Day (April 7)
  • National Infant Immunization Week (April 24 – May 1)
  • Mental Health Awareness Month (May)

Stay Connected with the Campaign

  • Share our Campaign materials. Our ever-growing, multi-lingual Outreach Tool Library features a variety of targeted resources to use in your outreach and enrollment efforts, available in multiple formats.
  • Contact us. To get more involved with the Campaign, contact us via email at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov.
  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Remember to re-tweet or share our messages from @IKNGov with your social network and be sure to use our #Enroll365 and #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.

Subscribe to the “Campaign Notes” eNewsletter

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign eNewsletter “Campaign Notes” is distributed throughout the year and provides updates on Campaign activities. If a friend or colleague forwarded this email to you, we invite you to sign up to receive this eNewsletter directly to your inbox.