The Weekly Wednesday Update is our newsletter which we email every Wednesday with oral health, health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

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November 14, 2018
Volume 9, Issue 47


Announcing our Anniversary Luncheon Guest Speaker

We are excited to announce a special guest speaker at our 15th Anniversary Luncheon on November 27. Kansas Insurance Commissioner-elect Vicki Schmidt will join us and share some insights during the celebration!

Our luncheon will be held Tuesday, November 27 at the The Foundry Event Center, 400 SW 33rd St., Topeka, KS 66611. We will share a new video that tells the story of oral health in our state and Oral Health Kansas itself. Speakers will share additional insight into the evolution of the oral health infrastructure in Kansas.

Reserve a table of 10 for $400 or one ticket is $50. Register now!
If you're having problems paying online, contact us at 785-235-6039.
Please share our flyer!



KanCare Oversight Committee Makes Dental Recommendations

Last week, the KanCare Oversight Committee convened at the state capitol to hear KanCare updates and develop their recommendations for the 2019 Kansas Legislature. Oral Health Kansas provided written testimony on Thursday afternoon seeking their recommendation to increase reimbursement rates for dental providers enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid Director, Jon Hamdorf, echoed our recommendation on Friday morning as he provided updates on how the state can help increase dental utilization rates in KanCare. His recommendations included increased dental rates, an expanded scope of practice for dental hygienists, the creation of a new credentialed provider such as a dental therapist, consideration of a dental school in Kansas, and the creation of an adult dental benefit as part of the state plan.

Friday afternoon, the KanCare Oversight Committee approved a recommendation to re-introduce last year's dental therapist bill (SB 312) and explore both increased Medicaid dental rates and expanded adult dental benefits. These recommendations will be sent to the 2019 Kansas Legislature and are a great first step for our advocacy efforts for the upcoming Legislative session. We are thankful to the Committee for their recommendations and recognition of the importance oral health plays in overall health.



Three States Vote to expand Medicaid

Voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah recently voted to expand Medicaid expansion. About 300,000 low-income people will gain access to health care coverage, according to estimates from government agencies and advocacy groups in those states. The Fairness Project, worked to get the questions on the ballots of the four states. National Public Radio wrote an article on how each state and their residents will now benefit.

Kansas is one of 14 states that has not expanded Medicaid (KanCare). Governor-elect Laura Kelly listed Medicaid expansion as one of her top priorities in her election night victory speech. In 2017 the Legislature approved expansion but was vetoed by Governor Brownback. Advocates are hopeful that it can get signed into law in 2019. Kansans who earn up to 138 percent of the poverty level or about $17,000 annually for an individual and approximately $34,000 for a family of four, would be eligible under Medicaid expansion. Listen to or read the KCUR story here. The Kansas Health Institue provided a helpful infographic, Health Insurance in Kansas 2017 with information on the insured and uninsured.



Oral Care During Pregnancy is Important AND Safe!

Thursday, November 15 at 2pm EST, the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP) will host a webinar of a panel of experts speaking about the importance of oral health care during pregnancy as they address the CDHP's report, Oral Health During Pregnancy. Registration is required. Click here to sign up for Prioritizing Oral Health during Pregnancy.

Oral Health Kansas has some consumer and patient education on pregnancy and oral health. View our Tips and Tricks on Pregnancy.





Marketplace is Open for Enrollment!

The 2019 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period is now open through Saturday, December 15, 2018. If you don't act by December 15, you cannot get 2019 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life event like losing other coverage, getting married, or having a baby. Use this checklist to gather documents you'll need to apply for healthcare coverage through the marketplace.

The marketplace is for people who don't have health coverage through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage. What you pay for insurance depends on your income. Based on your income estimate, you may qualify for:

  • A health insurance plan with savings based on your income
    — You may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.

  • Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    — Your children may qualify for CHIP even if you don't qualify for Medicaid.

Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019. Need help getting enrolled? Cover Kansas has navigators and additional resources to help you get the health coverage you need! You can also enroll here now!

FamiliesUSA recently released a new guide on buying dental coverage, for both children and adults, through the marketplace. You can also visit our website for additional information.





Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Thurlow (Dental Champions Class VII) on receiving a Tribute to Success Award from Connections to Success, an organization in Kansas City that helps families achieve economic independence. We agree that she is a hero in helping people in her community. This year she even brought nearly two dozen dental hygiene students from Concorde Career College to the 2018 Conference on Oral Health, and their insight and ideas were welcomed by dental and other professionals at the event. Thanks for making a difference at the local and state levels, Dr. Thurlow!





Reserve a Sugary Drink Display Today!
What is a Sugary Drink Display? It's our drink display that has 10 popular beverages and shows how much sugar is in each. You can reserve a child drink display or an adult drink display for up to a month. Spots fill up quickly!

Please note that requests made less than 30 days before the display is needed may not be able to be filled.

To learn more about our Sugary Drink Display and to reserve one, click here.

Interested in purchasing a Sugary Drink Display? Great, email us at info@oralhealthkansas.org and we'll send you more info!




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