Medicaid Adult Dental Insurance Launches July 1
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia is expanding its Medicaid program to provide a comprehensive dental benefit to poor adults, which means more than 750,000 Virginians will be eligible for the benefit starting Thursday.
Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that it is part of a two-year state budget that includes $ 35 million in state and federal funds to provide a wide range of adult dental care for the first time. Currently, Medicaid will only pay for emergency dental extractions for adults. The extension of benefits includes examinations three times a year to prevent oral diseases that can lead to more serious medical problems.
The safety net program serves more than 1.8 million Virginians, including 558,000 people who have medical coverage due to expanded eligibility.
The change is likely to result in a significant increase in the demand for dentists and approximately 1,500 dentists have committed to serving adults as part of the Medicaid delivery. In a letter to the Virginia Dental Association as a âcompanion in care,â Gov. Ralph Northam urged dentists to participate.
Virginia Dental Association executive director Ryan Dunn said more dentists would be needed. Currently, around 2,000 dentists provide dental services through Medicaid, but to get more to participate in the program, Dunn said the state needs to increase reimbursement rates.