A House-Senate conference committee working on the state budget decided to allocate $48 million to give Medicaid-eligible adults access to dental insurance for the first time since 2005. The budget must be completed by Friday.
Medicaid provides free or low-cost health insurance for more than 800,000 low-income Missourians. About 60 percent are children and the rest are custodial parents, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities.
In 2005, then-Gov. Matt Blunt and the Legislature eliminated an assortment of services, including dental care for most adults. Since then, Medicaid has provided dental benefits only for children and adults who are pregnant, blind or in nursing homes.