According to the article, states that have recently cut Medicaid coverage of dental care for adults include: Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, California and Washington. States are limiting or eliminating dental care for adults because they can. Dental care for adults is an "optional" service under Medicaid and is therefore an easy target for cost-cutting when budgets are tight.
- Washington State has preserved coverage for developmentally disabled adults and people in long-term care, while eliminating care for other poor and disabled adults.
- Massachusetts will cover fillings, dentures, and root canals for front teeth hoping to make it easier for people on Medicaid to get and retain jobs, but back teeth (out-of-sight, out-of-mind?) are not covered.
- Illinois used to cover front teeth, but no longer. They will still cover emergency procedures such as extractions.
- According to an NPR report on the lack of Medicaid coverage for adults in California, "In interviews with dozens of dentists and safety-net clinics around California, providers say patients are forgoing routine cleanings and delaying care until the pain is unbearable."
- Pennsylvania has reduced Medicaid dental care for adults to basic services - cleanings, fillings and extractions.
Here is more coverage of dental issues in The DD News Blog.
This is the Medicaid Data Base describing Michigan's Medicaid coverage of dental care.