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Dentist and patient

Dental Wellness Plan - Improving the Health and Smiles of Iowans

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation collaborates with stakeholders to advance its mission of supporting and improving the oral health of Iowans, with a focus on underserved populations.

In late 2017, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation launched the Iowa Medicaid Dental Innovation Initiative to identify feasible policy options for improving the oral and overall health of Iowa children and adults enrolled in Medicaid. A component of the Medicaid Initiative included an analysis of Iowa’s Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) claims and risk assessment data provided by Delta Dental of Iowa, a dental benefits administrator for the program. 

DWP White Paper

The documents below explore barriers, innovative approaches and how DWP improved the oral and overall health of members over the three-year period of the original DWP.

About DWP

In 2013, the Iowa Legislature created Iowa’s Health and Wellness Plan to support individuals eligible for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by providing access to dental and medical insurance.

Delta Dental of Iowa, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Human Service (DHS), Iowa Medicaid Enterprise, legislators, dentists and other key stakeholders, designed the Dental Wellness Plan (DWP) for Iowa’s adult Medicaid expansion population. DWP launched in May 2014 and was successfully administered by Delta Dental of Iowa through June 2017. In July 2017, DHS combined the DWP and fee-for-service (FFS) Medicaid adults into a revised DWP 2.0.

The original DWP was designed around an earned-benefits model that rewarded positive health behaviors by encouraging members to get preventive dental care and establishing a dental home.