More than 750,000 Virginia adults gain new Medicaid dental benefit

Governor Ralph Northam today announced that more than 750,000 adult Medicaid members will have access to comprehensive dental services under a benefit that begins July 1, 2021. The Governor celebrated the launch of the new adult dental benefit during an event at the Capital Area Health Network’s Vernon J. Harris Medical and Dental Center in Richmond. Gov. Northam announced:

“Oral health is an integral part of overall health, well-being, and quality of life. This historic expansion of services will ensure that adult Medicaid members across our Commonwealth have access to the quality dental care they deserve. I am proud of the bipartisan support and strong collaboration we have received from dentists and health care advocates that helped us reach this significant milestone.”

Adult members currently eligible for full Medicaid benefits will have more services and provider choices under the initiative approved in the new state budget. The new benefit covers up to three regular cleanings annually as well as preventive care, X-rays, fillings, dentures, oral surgeries and other oral health services. Daniel Carey, MD, MHCM, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, said:

“With this new benefit, Virginians will have access to true wellness. I am grateful to the dental community, the General Assembly, and the Department for Medical Assistance Services for all of their work to make this happen. Together, we can make Virginia the healthiest state in the country.”

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) and DentaQuest, the state’s Medicaid dental benefits administrator, are working closely with dental providers to encourage participation in the initiative. Providers wishing to serve Medicaid members can call 1-888-912-3456 or visit the Dentaquest website for information on credentialing and enrolling in the Medicaid provider network. DMAS Director Karen Kimsey provides an update:

“When we expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2019, our new members identified dental services as a top need. With more than 562,000 new members as a result of Medicaid expansion, we appreciate the support of Virginia dentists in helping us meet the tremendous need we know exists in our Commonwealth for oral health care.”

Research indicates that poor oral health is linked to high blood pressure, as well as pregnancy and birth complications.

Medicaid members can contact a DentaQuest representative at 1-888-912-3456 to find a dentist and learn more about the new dental benefit. Children and pregnant individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) and FAMIS MOMS are already eligible to receive dental care.

This press release was provided by the Office of Governor Ralph S. Northam.