Vermont legislature urged to protect adult dental Medicaid program

Feb. 9, 2010
Proposed budget cuts would place $200 annual cap on adult dental services.

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vermont--The Vermont State Dental Society opposes the proposed FY 2011 budget cuts in Vermont's adult Medicaid dental program, and has urged the legislature to consider the effect the proposal would have on oral health for Vermont Medicaid patients.

The proposal, currently being reviewed by the House Committee on Health Care, would reduce the annual cap on adult dental services covered by the Vermont Medicaid program from $495 to $200.

Speaking before the house committee last week, VSDS Executive Director Peter Taylor said, "If a $200 maximum is implemented, very few services can be provided over the course of a year for a population that is likely to be in need of more extensive services."

Taylor testified that Medicaid fees are currently in the 40-70% range of non-Medicaid dental services, and that private dental practices and dental clinics in Vermont are attempting to meet the needs of the Medicaid population. Private practices provide approximately 80% of services.

"The program would become even more restrictive if the yearly maximum expenditure is reduced even further," Taylor said.

The announcement comes as VSDS holds its annual legislative day in the Statehouse Feb. 10, 2010. Members of Vermont's dental profession are scheduled to gather with legislators to raise awareness of key dental issues in Vermont.

For more information, go to Vermont State Dental Society.

To read more about Medicaid in Vermont, go to Medicaid.

To comment on this topic, go to PennWell Dental Community site.