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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: August 23, 2023 09:46 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Restoring Dental Coverage for Medical Assistance Recipients
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that is a companion bill to House Bill 1417, introduced by Representatives Innamorato, Gaydos, and Kinkead. The bill would restore Medicaid coverage for dental care that was in place up to 2011.

Dental coverage is an essential part of health care coverage and proactive and preventative care is a far more effective way to maintain health and reduce costs to individuals and insurance payers. Regular dental check-ups play a critical role in early detection of oral, head, and neck cancers. Additionally, dental health can affect our self-esteem and productivity in the workplace while also costing us hundreds of dollars a year when we do not take care of our teeth.
However, Pennsylvania is failing its most vulnerable residents. Cuts made in 2011 to dental coverage under our state’s Medical Assistance program prevent many low-income Pennsylvanians from receiving the oral health care they need. The current plan provides coverage for routine cleanings and fillings, but services like root canals, periodontal disease work and emergency exams were eliminated out of concerns for cost.
That is why I am introducing legislation to restore dental coverage for Medical Assistance recipients. My bill ensures that, moving forward, Medical Assistance provides a dental benefit package that includes those coverages that existed before cuts made in 2011 without removing any existing dental coverage.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this vital legislation.

Introduced as SB955