Pennsylvania Legislators Push for Restoration of Adult Dental Benefits

Advocates and dentists are hopeful a state House bill will restore dental services for adults with Medicaid coverage in Pennsylvania. The legislation passed the Democratic-controlled state House last month in a bipartisan 153-50 vote. Coverage for many adult dental services was cut in 2011 under the administration of former Gov. Tom Corbett as part of a cost-saving move; the change was estimated to save about $18 million in state funds at the time. Since that time, adults in the state’s Medicaid program have had a very limited set of dental benefits that don’t cover much beyond routine exams, cleanings, and basic fillings. The bill is now in the state Senate before the Human Services Committee. There is also a similar Senate bill, sponsored by Minority Leader Sen. Jay Costa, a Democrat.