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Apple Health Dental RFP: An Opportunity to Improve Care Delivery

April 10, 2018

Not that long ago, dental benefits didn’t exist and most people didn’t see a dentist unless it was an emergency. In 1954, a group of Washingtonians set out to revolutionize oral health care. 

What started as a pilot program to help longshoremen’s children get dental care, ended up pioneering a new industry — dental benefits. 

Today, our 375 employees, all in Washington, administer dental benefits to over 2.4 million members in Washington as part of over 3 million nationwide and our foundation, Arcora Foundation, works hard to remove barriers to our state’s most vulnerable populations.

We’ve always believed that all people can enjoy good oral and overall health, with no one left behind. It truly drives everything we do and the programs we support. 

Recently, the State of Washington announced its intent to release a request for proposal (RFP) to find at least two dental carriers to administer the state’s Apple Health Dental program. We support their intent to improve care delivery for our state’s adult Medicaid population. It’s been an issue we’ve partnered with leaders to improve for some time. 

Since 1999, Arcora Foundation has partnered with the Healthcare Authority and others to support and champion the nationally-recognized Access to Baby and Child Dentistry program. It ensures low-income children ages 0-6 have access to dental care. As a result of this program, more than 50 percent of all Medicaid-enrolled children under age 6 see a dentist—making Washington the nation’s leader in these efforts.

Delta Dental’s commitment to improving care delivery for Medicaid dental programs isn’t unique to Washington State. Our sister company, Delta Dental of California, has been administering Medicaid dental plans for over 40 years. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Dentegra Insurance Company, they have agreed to administer the delivery of care to Washington’s Medicaid population. They’ve had tremendous success in ensuring Medicaid patients can easily access the care they need to achieve and maintain good oral health.

In anticipation of the state’s RFP, we’ve partnered with Dentegra to discuss how our shared commitment and experience may improve care delivery for Apple Health Dental. 

As a team, we’re interested in the opportunity to administer the new Apple Health Dental program. We understand, better than anyone that Apple Health Dental needs an administrator who can improve service levels and has an unwavering commitment to patient and provider advocacy. 

We look forward to examining the request for proposal (RFP) provided by the Washington Health Care Authority, and, if all the process elements align with our mission, working hard to build a stronger Apple Health Program in the years to come.

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