The Senate passed a budget amendment filed by Senator Chandler that would provide $7.2 million in additional funding to restore coverage for composite (tooth colored) fillings for front teeth for both MassHealth and Commonwealth Care Plan Type 1 recipients. In addition, Amendment #605 would require the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) to study the increased cost of emergency room treatment for dental problems, that occurs when people have no other source of care, and to develop a specific code to track ER visits for dental conditions.
This is a first step toward incremental restoration of MassHealth adult dental benefits, but it needs to make it through the conference committee to be enacted! Representative Scibak and Senator Chandler are circulating a sign-on letter asking the conference committee to accept Amendment #605 as adopted by the Senate. So far, 36 Representatives and Senators have joined them. Please call your legislators today and urge them to sign on.
Here are a few talking points to get you started:
- Let them know that Representative Scibak/Senator Chandler is circulating a sign on letter, urging the conference committee to support MassHealth adult dental benefits.
- Cuts to the MassHealth dental program severely restrict residents’ access to essential oral health care services, causing needless pain, suffering, and illness.
- Lack of comprehensive and consistent oral health care also prohibits many adults from entering or remaining in the state’s service-based workforce because they have missing teeth.
- Senate Amendment #605 will begin to address employability issues and put Massachusetts on a path toward full restoration of comprehensive dental services.
- Let them know that the deadline is Friday and ask if they will support oral health by contacting Representative Scibak/Senator Chandler to sign on to the letter.
If you have any questions, please contact Courtney Chelo, OHAT Coordinator, at 617-275-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.