Virginia budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid dental care

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – In the past few years the gap between private insurance and Medicaid has been growing in reimbursement for dentists. The new budget sets aside $116 million in state and federal funding to help fix it.

“The governor is going to sign this on July 1 that will give us a 30% increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates,” Charlottesville Pediatric Dentist Dr. Barrett W. R. Peters said.

Virginia’s new budget increases reimbursement rates by 30%. A change it hasn’t seen in years.

“For the past 17 years, there has not been an increase. The cost of doing dental business has increased about 60% in that period of time. So it’s very expensive to run a practice,” Peters said.

He says this raises benefits patients and providers.

“This reimbursement increase is humongous. It not only helps many patients across the commonwealth, but many children that need help, many adults that need help,” Peters said.

It incentivizes more providers to accept any Virginian who has dental insurance under Medicaid.

“They’re going to find more providers, more people that are willing to participate in a program, because they feel like they can run their business effectively, and take care of the patients that so desperately need this,” Peters said.

Peters encourages insurance companies to take a look at their own plans, so they can prevent toothaches before they even happen.

“So often, in my own practice, I find some basic things are not covered, fluoride twice a year, sealants, just very basic, preventive things, and I think insurance companies really need to work more with providers, and those of us on the ground of how we can best serve you,” Peters said.

This reimbursement increase will go into effect when the new budget does on July 1, 2022.

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