Medicaid provides many low-income families with dental coverage. While coverage from Medicaid plans varies from state to state, most states provide dental coverage as of 2014.
In order to receive Medicaid services, submit an application to the Center for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. CHIP is designed specifically for children under 18, but students under the age of 21 are also covered in some circumstances. This coverage provides both preventative and emergency dental services. Parents are required to submit proof of income and meet current income guidelines in order to receive Medicaid benefits for children. In some states, adults are not provided with dental coverage, but states are required to provide dental coverage to eligible children.
Local programs are also available in some places. For example, Ohio offers the Ohio OPTIONS program that provides dental services to low-income families and individuals. Community-based services are also an option. Contact local social services offices, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Family Resources or Department of Family Services, for information about where to find dentists that offer free or reduced-cost services. Many dentists who serve low-income families offer sliding-scale fees that allow patients to pay based on income.