Dental Plans’ Response to the Pandemic
To provide economic assistance to dentists, support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and meet CDC requirements, carriers have implemented advance claims payment programs, provider relief and recovery funds, temporary PPE courtesy payments per patient visit, or increased reimbursement for certain procedures. See carrier response here.
Following are several important issues NADP has shared with policymakers during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- May 20 letter to Congressional leadership advocating for an increase to the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), with a specific increase for dental benefits, in the next COVID-19 relief package.
- May 18 joint stakeholder letter to Congressional leadership regarding policies to support the oral health care system including increasing the FMAP and establishing an oral health infrastructure fund.
- April 23 joint stakeholder letter to Congressional leadership with key health and health care priorities for the next COVID-19 response legislation.
- April 21 letter to Congressional leadership seeking federal subsidization of COBRA premiums for the newly unemployed and a special enrollment period for the Federally Facilitated Exchanges.
- April 10 comment letter to the Small Business Administration seeking clarification that dental plan premiums and costs paid by employers are included in the definition of “payroll costs” in the Paycheck Protection Program. Based on an April 20 interim final rule, dental benefits premiums paid by employers would be considered part of “payroll costs” in the PPP and therefore count towards the 75% threshold for loan forgiveness.
- PPE support: NADP sent a letter of support to the sponsors of the Small Business PPE Tax Credit Act (HR 7216) which would provide a $25,000 tax credit for small businesses to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE). The tax credit would help some dental practices that are still struggling with obtaining PPE as dental care begins to resume.
Federal Funding for Dentists
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) A program that provided small businesses with loans of up to $10 million to cover costs during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. NADP determined that dental benefits premiums paid by employers would be considered part of “payroll costs” in the PPP and therefore count towards the 75% threshold for loan forgiveness.
Provider Relief Funding HHS announced Medicaid, CHIP and dental providers can now apply for the $15 billion Provider Relief Fund to receive a payment of up to 2% of their annual patient revenue. Dental providers can apply for funding through the Enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal.
COVID-19 Tracking Document (*members only*) (subheading under covid): List of state actions that have been taken with respect to grace periods for premium payments, coverage for teledentistry services, and changes to filing requirements https://www.nadpadvocacy.org/covid-19-state-actions