Denti-Cal, Medi-Cal’s fee-for-service (FFS) dental program, was the primary source and payer of dental care for more than 8 million low-income, elderly, and disabled people in California in 2007. In 2009, most of the Medi-Cal adult dental benefits were eliminated due to the state’s budget deficit. Children’s services, as required by federal law, continue to be delivered.
The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) recently published an almanac on Denti-Cal which covers the organization of Medi-Cal’s fee-for-service dental program in 2007, how it was funded, and the demographics of the population it served. It identifies the challenges the program faces in continuing to make dental care available to children, and the potential consequences of leaving a large segment of the adult Medi-Cal population with no care at all.