Vt. won't include adult dental in healthcare exchange

Vermont's Green Mountain Care Board has decided to omit adult dental services from the basic benefit package included in the state's healthcare exchange in 2014, Vermont Public Radio reported.

Green Mountain Care is a state-based organization that offers a number of low-cost and free health coverage programs for uninsured Vermonters. Its insurance plans include Catamount Health, Vermont Health Access Plan, Dr. Dynasaur, Medicaid, and a number of pharmacy assistance and premium assistance programs.

Per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's guidelines, states will provide pediatric dental care, but they are different for adults. If the states opt to provide dental coverage for them, the law requires the state to pay for its entire cost.

That would amount to $20 million annually for Vermont, a figure that yielded a 3-2 vote from lawmakers against it.

Some 10,000 people in the state are expected to acquire insurance through the exchange.

Some 60,000 Vermonters cannot afford to see a dentist, according to Donna Sutton Fay, policy director for the Vermont Campaign for Health Care Security.

However, the board voted to launch a commission tasked with finding a way to provide adult dental coverage in the most cost-effective way possible, the article added.

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