Nebraska legislators continue push for higher dental Medicaid reimbursement rates

Nebraska legislators are working to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for dentists again after a slight raise this year, the Flatwater Free Press reported Aug. 10. 

The state's reimbursement fees are lower than those of most surrounding states, with Nebraska's Medicaid program covering an average of 39 percent of costs.

The state's low reimbursement rate has led to a decreasing number of providers for Medicaid patients. The number of dental providers reimbursed after treating at least one Medicaid-eligible patient has dropped by 37 percent in the last five years, the news organization reported.

Nebraska increased reimbursement rates by 3 percent for 2023, but efforts to increase them again by 2 percent in 2024 were blocked by Gov. Jim Pillen.

Sen. Lynne Walz introduced a bill in January to increase dental reimbursements under the Medical Assistance Act by 25 percent, a move that would cost the state about $6 million.

The bill can be brought up for debate during the 2024 session, Sen. Walz’s office told the Flatwater Free Press.

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