Missouri HealthNet Dental Benefits Expanded

LOGO-HealthNet

The Missouri legislature’s passage of Senate Bill 11 during the 2015 session allowed the coverage of dental benefits for adults eligible for MO HealthNet to be reinstated. In the bill, the expansion of these benefits was made contingent upon collecting funds through a state tax amnesty program that ran from September to December of 2015.

Earlier this month, Governor Nixon announced that the state had collected “an estimated $35 million from delinquent taxpayers… These funds will allow for the expansion of dental care to approximately 282,000 low-income Missourians in Fiscal Year 2016.”

The expanded benefits will provide MO HealthNet patients with:

  • Preventive Services
  • Restorative Services
  • Periodontal Treatment
  • Oral Surgery
  • Extractions
  • Radiographs
  • Pain evaluation and Relief
  • Infection Control
  • General Anesthesia

Although a large amount of services and procedures have been expanded, this change still does not provide comprehensive dental coverage for MO HealthNet’s adult population. However, even with limits on services, the hope is to reduce health care costs incurred for treating adult patients who have severe pain and infections from poor dental health through ER visits, hospital stays, etc.

The Missouri Department of Social Services has submitted an amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that must be approved before the change can be implemented. Once the proposed amendment to the state regulation is approved, MO HealthNet is prepared to immediately perform system updates that will allow payment for the expanded services. Dental providers will be notified of covered dental codes and when they may begin submitting claims to receive payment for services performed.

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