Adult dental care at Kōkua Kalihi Valley
Half of Hawaii’s residents on Medicaid are unable to go to a dentist because they have no coverage. AlohaCare is changing this. The organization is offering basic dental coverage as part of their health plan, all at no cost to the member. AlohaCare believes health care is a right to every person, and dental care is part of everyone’s overall health. CEO of AlohaCare, Laura Esslinger, and co-dental director with Kōkua Kallihi Valley Comprehensive Health Center, Dr. Jennifer Hirota, joined us on set to explain how the organization can make free dental care possible to its members.
Those eligible for Medicaid or QUEST Integration can simply select AlohaCare as their health plan. October is open enrollment period for Medicaid plans, and they will get the new benefit starting January 1. If members have AlohaCare or choose AlohaCare, they will start receiving basic dental services like an annual exam and x-rays, fluoride treatment, teeth cleanings twice a year, and filling a cavity or extracting a tooth for non-emergencies. AlohaCare is absorbing the costs to provide all of these dental services.
Going to a dentist is a big financial decision for many of patients. Kōkua Kalihi Valley has a sliding fee to make dental services affordable, but this is still money out of a family’s budget. The new dental benefits will allow AlohaCare patients to use their money for other healthcare services or necessities, and it will allow Kōkua Kalihi Valley to use their funds to support other services as well. AlohaCare is encouraging all Hawaii residents to join and take advantage of this new benefit.
AlohaCare is a local, non-profit health plan founded in 1994 by Hawaii’s Community Health Centers. It’s the third-largest health plan in Hawaii. AlohaCare specializes in QUEST Integration health insurance to people living on Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii Island. Its mission is to care for people who are underserved with specific health needs. It provides health care coverage for Hawaii’s QUEST Integration (Medicaid) beneficiaries. AlohaCare is a health plan with a Medicare contract and provides Medicare coverage to beneficiaries in Hawaii.