Private Practice Dentist Attitudes Toward an Annual Benefit Maximum in Iowa's Dental Wellness Plan

Scholtes, M.; Reynolds, J.C.; Ingleshwar, A.; McKernan, S.C.; Damiano, P.C.


The Dental Wellness Plan (DWP), a program unique to Iowa, provides dental benefits to low-income adults in Iowa that are enrolled in Medicaid. Starting on September 1, 2018, DWP members have a $1000 annual benefit maximum (ABM), meaning that the DWP will cover $1000 worth of dental services per year. Certain services, including diagnostic, preventive, emergency, and complete dentures, are excluded from the ABM. Many other states also include an ABM for their dental Medicaid programs, ranging anywhere from $510 in Vermont to $2500 in Mississippi. While the DWP provides benefits to its members, the ability to utilize these benefits depends on the willingness of Iowa dentists to participate. Thus, it is important to examine dentist attitudes toward the DWP and specifically toward the $1000 ABM that was implemented in 2018. Dentist attitudes toward the concept of an ABM generally were also examined for comparison.