New Hampshire lawmakers attempt to expand Medicaid dental benefits for 3rd straight year

New Hampshire lawmakers have introduced two bills that would add preventive dental benefits under Medicaid, the state's third attempt at an expansion, Manchester Ink Link reported Nov. 8.

Five things to know:

  1. New Hampshire is one of 10 states to only cover emergency dental services for adults, according to the American Dental Association.
  2. The state's Senate and House of Representatives have introduced widely supported bills to expand dental coverage. The House bill was previously held back by a House committee because of cost disagreements, but a $27.5 million amended version that would provide adult preventive care with copays and limited denture coverage will go to the full House in January.
  3. The House bill could receive pushback from advocates and lawmakers because of the copay requirements and denture coverage limits. Under the bill, dentures would only be covered for nursing home residents, adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders, and residents who receive at-home services under the federal Choices for Independence program. Medicaid recipients with income more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level would also be required to pay a 5-10 percent copay.
  4. In 2019, Gov. Chris Sununu charged the state Department of Health and Human Services with creating a plan to provide adult residents with enhanced dental benefits.
  5. Mr. Sununu vetoed an $11 million bill with bipartisan support in July 2020, citing financial concerns for the state amid the pandemic.

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