A $48 million budget proposal from the Missouri House of Representatives would cover adult dental care for 300,000 Medicaid recipients.
The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to the additional $48 million in Medicaid spending last week, according to a report by Mid-Missouri Public Radio. However, the funds could only be used for preventative dental care and payment to dentists for providing it. Under the current Medicaid structure, they only receive 35% of usual and customary costs.
If the Senate and House reach a spending agreement, the measure would await final approval — but it would need to reach the governor by May 9, the article noted.
Dental coverage was cut from Medicaid coverage in 2005. Many in the state have expressed concern that the move is linked to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), since it is unpopular in Missouri. However, there is tremendous need for dental care, Rep. Nate Walker (R-3rd District) said in an interview.
Rural areas in particular need greater access, he added, noting that about a dozen counties do not have a single dentist living in them.