The Dental Health Loan Repayment application cycle opens November 2021 and closes March 2022. Below are some additional resources to assist providers in successfully applying for the Dental Loan Repayment Program. Please review the provider application guidance before beginning an application.
Priority is given to sites or clinics in the following categories:
- Dental services provided in a public health clinic, a practice with a focus on an underserved population, or a nonprofit dental clinic;
- Dentists trained in general or pediatric dentistry or in a dental specialty where such services are needed in the identified city or surrounding areas, or both; or
- Located in a federally designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or a state-defined critical shortage area.
The applicant must:
- be fully licensed to practice in North Dakota and available to begin by July 1;
- accept Medicare and Medicaid patients; and
- be employed full-time providing direct patient care in the appropriate settings, no more than 8 hours of a full-time provider’s weekly hours will be spent on administrative duties.
- A dentist selected for loan repayment who practices within fifteen miles [24.14 kilometers] of the city limits of one of the three largest cities in the state must:
- have received dental medical payments of at least twenty thousand dollars in the form of medical assistance reimbursement; or
- have practiced at least two full workdays per week at a public health clinic or a nonprofit dental clinic that uses a sliding fee schedule for patient billing.
Providers participating in the loan repayment program can enter into an agreement to practice five years and receive the following loan repayment assistance for outstanding education loans from institutional lending agencies of the United States, Canada, or other approved countries.
- State funds are paid up to $100,000 over 5 years.
- Payments are made to the applicant at the conclusion of each 12-month period of service following a verification survey.
- IRS Publication 970 states the following regarding student loan repayment assistance programs "Student loan repayments made to you are tax free if you received them for any of the following:
- The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.3
- A state education loan repayment program eligible for funds under the Public Health Service Act.
- Any other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program that is intended to provide for the increased availability of health services in underserved or health professional shortage areas (as determined by such state).
- You cannot deduct the interest you paid on a student loan to the extent payments were made through your participation in the above programs."
- Payments under certain state loan repayment programs.
- In the case of an individual, gross income shall not include any amount received under section 338B(g) of the Public Health Service Act, under a state program described in section 338I of such Act, or under any other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program that is intended to provide for the increased availability of health care services in underserved or health professional shortage areas (as determined by such State).
- Under 26 U.S.C. § 3401(a) (19), state loan repayment program payments are also not considered to be “wages” and are therefore exempt from federal employment tax (FICA).
- For purposes of this chapter, the term “wages” means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an employee for his/her employer, including the cash value of all remuneration (including benefits) paid in any medium other than cash; except that such term shall not include remuneration paid.
- For any benefit provided to or on behalf of an employee if at the time such benefit is provided it is reasonable to believe that the employee will be able to exclude such benefit from income under section 74(c), 108(f)(4), 117, or 132.
The North Dakota Department of Health reviews all applicants in consultation with the North Dakota Dental Association. The applicants are then prioritized and presented to the State Health Council for review and approval. The applicants are reviewed and prioritized based on personal statement, letters of recommendation, and if they are practicing in areas of greatest need.
- The State Health Council shall enter a contract with a selected dentist. The contract must provide that the State Health Council agrees to make payments of loan repayment funds to the selected dentist, subject to the dentist meeting the requirements and limitations established by the State Health Council under 43-28.1-07.
- The State Health Council may not provide any loan repayment funds to a dentist under this chapter until the dentist has practiced at least six months on a full-time basis in the city or surrounding areas, or both, unless the State Health Council has identified as having a defined need for dental services.
- Except as otherwise provided, the State Health Council shall make payments under this chapter at the conclusion of each of the five 12-month periods of service during which the dentist met the qualifying terms of the contract. The state health council may make a prorated payment under this chapter if during the 12-month period the dentist failed to meet the qualifying terms of the contract.
- Payments under this chapter terminate upon the earlier of completion of five years as a participant in this loan repayment program or failure of the dentist to meet the qualifying terms under the contract.