Policy Changes to Promote Equity

Washington state capitol building

Our government policy work is a key approach to improving oral and overall health for all, with no one left behind. We work to serve everyone by advocating for better access to oral health care and quality dental health for life.

Over 2 million neighbors in Washington state are insured through Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. Unfortunately, low reimbursement rates for these services have been a major barrier for dental providers in accepting Apple Health coverage. This leaves many people with limited care options.

The good news? In past 1.5 years, we’ve seen significant steps taken in the Washington State Legislature to address historically low funding for the Apple Health dental program provider reimbursement rates.

adult dental program reimbursement rates 2021

As a result of the decade-long advocacy by our policy team at Arcora Foundation, the Washington State Dental Association, dental providers and many other oral health stakeholders, reimbursement rates for the adult dental program were increased in July 2021.

In 2022, reimbursement rates for the Apple Health children’s dental program - which covers people up to age 20 - were increased by the Legislature by $21 million

While money is not everything, it helps to level the playing field and we hope enables more dentists to provide equitable access to care to all areas in Washington.

childrens dental program reimbursement rates 2021
We will continue this important work with partners and policymakers at all levels of government to advocate for our shared vision and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.