States with separate CHIP programs have two options. They can offer a dental benefits package that meets all the requirements laid out for CHIP under federal regulations, or they can offer a benchmark dental package. The benchmark package is one that is equivalent to the dental plan offered to the dependents of federal employees, the plan offered the dependents of state employees, or a dental plan that is equal to the most popular plan offered by a commercial insurance company within the state.
These plans are set as a minimum standard of what should be provided, so the children on CHIP are getting dental care equivalent to other insured children in the state. States will post a list of their dental packages and providers for their Medicaid and CHIP programs on their state Medicaid website, which is where you can find them.
Despite the clear regulations regarding dental care for children, states are not required to offer dental coverage for adults receiving Medicaid. Less than half the states offer comprehensive dental coverage for adults. However, most states will cover emergency dental services under their emergency care package. Dental care packages for adults can be purchased through the Marketplace, and the cost will be dependent on your estimated income.
For both children and adults, eligibility for dental coverage is determined by their eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP coverage. You do not need to apply for dental coverage separately. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you will be eligible for dental services that go along with the state’s Medicaid program.