Kentucky Governor introduces plan to reduce dental coverage within Medicaid
What's the issue?
On June 22, Governor Matt Bevin introduced the Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health (HEALTH) proposal. This initiative recommends substantial changes to the federal-state Medicaid program in Kentucky.
Along with charging a small monthly premium for coverage, the proposal would eliminate routine dental and vision coverage for Medicaid recipients.
Instead, Medicaid recipients would have the opportunity to participate in a "My Rewards" program. Under the program, individuals earn credits for getting a health assessment, volunteering, taking a college course or getting a job. Those credits could be applied to help pay for dental and vision services.
The U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) will have to approve the proposed changes.
Why is this important?
After Kentucky expanded its Medicaid program in 2014, dental care surged by more than 100,000 people.
Under the governor's proposal, individuals living in poverty who do not have the ability to participate in the "My Rewards" program will no longer have access to preventive dental care.
In order for HHS to consider the proposal, Kentucky must allow a 30-day period to provide public comment on the initiative. After the public comment period, the Commonwealth reviews and summarizes all comments received and makes the necessary revisions before submitting it to HHS.
The opportunity to provide public comment has been extended to
Friday, August 12, 2016 at 5 p.m.
If you would like to share your concerns with the proposed HEALTH program, please email them to
by the established date.
Learn more about the Governor's plan.