AGD Asks Congress to Support the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jul 21, 2022
In a letter led by the American Dental Association (ADA), AGD and 16 other dentist and health organizations called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to support the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act (S.3166/H.R.4439), legislation that would require all state Medicaid programs to provide comprehensive dental care as a component of adult Medicaid coverage.

Currently, no minimum requirements for adult dental coverage exist under Medicaid, leaving states to determine which dental benefits, if any, are provided to adult enrollees. This creates a patchwork of state-based dental coverage under Medicaid, with less than half of all states offering extensive dental coverage to adult enrollees. Other states offer emergency-only, limited, or no dental coverage to adults through Medicaid.

The Medicaid Dental Benefit Act would expand comprehensive dental care to all adult Medicaid enrollees to include coverage of routine diagnostic and preventive care; basic dental services such as fillings and extractions; major dental services such as root canals, crowns, and restorations; and emergency dental care.

Impact on General Dentistry: Cost barriers to oral health care remain a significant issue for adults on Medicaid, leaving many without regular dental care and therefore, exposed to disproportionately high rates of dental disease. The AGD is proud to endorse the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act and will continue to build support for the legislation in Congress.