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Tips to help you choose a dental plan

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About Medi-Cal managed care dental plans

No cost to you and no co-payment

  • Medi-Cal wants you and your family to be healthy and satisfied with your dental care.
  • Medi-Cal managed care dental plans have their own dentists and specialists.
  • You can choose the dentist for your dental care needs.
  • Your dental plan will refer you to a specialist if your dentist determines that you need one.
  • There is no charge for specialty dentists when your dentist refers you.

Emergencies

  • Call your dentist or your dental plan's 24-hour toll-free phone number. The dental plan or dentist will see that you get immediate care, or will make an appointment if it is not an emergency.

Dental second opinions

  • You can request that another dentist or specialist see you before you make decisions about your dentist's plan for your dental care or surgery.
  • You do not have to ask managed care dentists if they take Medi-Cal patients.

How to choose a dental plan

Here are some things to think about before you make your choice:

Dentist

  • Am I happy with the dentist I have right now?
  • Does my dentist belong to a dental plan?
  • Which dental plan?
  • Do I have to wait long to get an appointment?
  • Is my dentist’s office open when I can go?
  • Does the dentist have experience with my child's or my dental problem?

Language

  • Does the dentist speak my language or provide interpreters who do?

Location

  • Is the dentist’s office nearby?
  • Is it easy to get to?
  • Does the dental plan or dentist provide transportation?

How to join a dental plan

  • You must be eligible for Medi-Cal to join a dental plan.
  • To join a dental plan, call Health Care Options at 1-800-430-4263. Or you can complete a Medi-Cal Dental Choice Form. You can find the form on the Download forms page.
  • You can use your Medi-Cal Benefits Identification Card (BIC) for services through Regular Medi-Cal (Fee-For-Service) until you are a dental plan member.
  • Health Care Options will send you a letter telling you that the dental plan change has taken place.
  • Your dental plan will send you information about its services and a dental plan member card.
  • Take your dental plan member card and BIC card with you when you visit your dentist.

How to change a dental plan

  • You must be eligible for Medi-Cal to join a dental plan.
  • If you are not happy with your dental plan, you can choose another dental plan or return to Regular Medi-Cal (Fee-For-Service) if you live in Los Angeles County. If you live in Sacramento County, you may be required to be enrolled in a dental plan but you may change dental plans at any time.
  • To change your dental plan, call Health Care Options at 1-800-430-4263 (TTY 1-800-430-7077) Or you can complete a Medi-Cal Dental Choice form. You can find the form on the Download forms page.
  • Call Denti-Cal at 1-800-322-6384 to find a dentist who takes Medi-Cal.
  • Mail the completed choice form.
  • Health Care Options will send you a letter telling you that the dental plan change has taken place.
  • You must see your present dentist until you get the letter from Health Care Options.

Working with your dental plan

  • Know how to use your dental plan as soon as you become a member.
  • Read all the information your dental plan sends you.
  • Call your dental plan's member services department and ask any questions you have about your dental plan. Member services staff will be glad to help you.

Change your dentist

  • If you would like to change your dentist, you can call the dental plan's member services department and choose a different dentist. You must be eligible for Medi-Cal to join a dental plan.