The dentists at Balboa Victory Dental truly care about serving the local community – all of the community, that is – in Encino and Lake Balboa with high-quality dentistry. If you’re unsure how the Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal work or don’t yet understand what makes the system so far ahead of what is found throughout most of the country, read on for some simple explanations.
Dental Care As A Right, Not A Privilege
The proud State of California has always been more tolerant, one could even say more liberal, than the average of the country. That is to say, in this land, we believe things like access to medical and dental care should be a right for all, not a privilege for many. This guiding foundation is what has brought us the Medi-Cal program.
What is Denti-Cal?
The most common misconception surrounding the Medi-Cal program and dentistry is that Denti-Cal is a separate program that people have to qualify into or out of; this is simply untrue. Nearly everyone that qualifies for Medi-Cal benefits can reap the benefit of Denti-Cal with no additional work on their part. While in many states, dental benefits aren’t offered at all through state-run Medicaid programs and many of those that do consider the dental benefits to be a different program altogether; in California, the policy creators believed this to be an unnecessary barrier to treatment, so the enrolment process has been kept standardized through Medi-Cal, meaning you only need apply for that to receive at least some degree of Denti-Cal benefits.
Basics of Denti-Cal
The program has been designed to offer benefits to American citizens and long-term immigrants that qualify based upon their income level, disability, mental health condition, foster care status, and other specific factors. While qualifying for the program is considered largely to be all-or-nothing (eligible or not, except in extreme exceptions), the amount of benefit your family is eligible for can change greatly depending on income, family size, and other factors. That is to say, however, that qualifying for the program is relatively easy, as nearly a third of all California residents are currently on Medi-Cal. At our Encino dentist’s office, we frequently see Denti-Cal patients from Balboa Lake and other surrounding neighborhoods, some that know how the program works and many that are unsure if their visits to the dentist will even be covered or to what degree.
What’s it Cost?
Seeing the dentist under Medi-Cal can cost you differently, based largely on the amount of income you make. The benefit is set up in a Share of Cost plan, which means that your family will share a portion of the cost based upon your household income. This means that your cost could be almost nothing or relatively close to the standard cost for the treatment, based solely upon what your household can afford under the program’s guidelines. It is worth noting, however, that the program is designed to scale with your family’s size and income level, which creates a sliding scale for how much it can cost to visit the dentist. Larger families that make less will need to share less of the cost than families that are smaller and make more. The basics of the pricing structure is designed to keep people in the program longer, but provide the bulk of benefit to those families that need the assistance most.
Don’t Stay Quiet
There are pages and pages of laws and guidelines to sort through to truly understand the exact guidelines for coverage under the Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal systems, this serves only to scratch the surface of all the available information out there. However, we don’t want you to worry! It is important that you know that there are plenty of people out there that want to help your family find regular medical and dental care near you at a cost you can afford. Check out some of the links below for helpful information regarding the Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal programs, then follow the helpful tools to get the medical and dental care your family needs. The best way to get the coverage your family needs to stay healthy is to know and understand that you can ask for help and clarification on any benefit information.
Denti-Cal.gov, which serves as a daunting tool that has a lot of information and helpful tips.
Medi-Cal.gov, where you can sign up for and check in on benefits under the Medi-Cal system.
SSA.gov, the Social Security Administration’s federal website, where you can locate your nearest Social Security Office and enroll/learn about Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal in person.
Balboa Victory Dental Office, the home of our dentist, who is fluent in English, Spanish, and French, and is proud to accept Denti-Cal patients in the Encino and Lake Balboa area; contact us for any questions you may have about using your benefits in our office.