Medicaid adult dental benefit launches July 1 in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia is expanding its Medicaid program to provide a comprehensive dental benefit to poor adults, meaning more than 750,000 Virginians will be eligible for the benefit starting Thursday.

The 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 range of dental care to adults for the first time.

Currently, Medicaid will pay only for emergency tooth extraction for adults. The benefit expansion includes checkups three times a year to prevent oral disease that can lead to bigger medical problems.

The change will likely mean a significant jump in demand for dentists and about 1,500 dentists have committed to serving adults under the Medicaid benefit.

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