State Update

Washington State Restores Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits

(Medicare and Medicaid, ACA) Permanent link   All Posts

The Washington State Legislature passed a 2013–15 Biennium Operating Budget following its 2013 regular legislative session and two special sessions. The final budget, more than $30 billion, includes funding for a comprehensive dental benefit for all Medicaid-eligible adults. Specifically, the state legislature set aside $23.3 million for this biennium to restore adult dental coverage. Adult dental Medicaid funding will be restored on January 1, 2014. Currently, most Medicaid-eligible adults in the state only have access to emergency care due to several rounds of budget cuts, which began in 2009. Click here to learn more.

The state legislature also decided to expand Medicaid eligibility to more low-income adults. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to all adults who earn less than 133% of the federal poverty level. The ACA provides 100% federal matching funding for covering newly eligible Medicaid recipients in states, such as Washington, that choose to expand for 2014, 2015 and 2016. For later years, the federal match decreases until it reaches 90% for 2020 and subsequent years.