Bill seeks to help Ohio Medicaid patients being denied dental care based on age

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Some Ohioans who rely on Medicaid coverage for dental care are running into a problem: They are being denied coverage for that care because of their age.

But some state lawmakers want to change that policy.

Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) said when he and Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) heard about Medicaid claims being denied for very young or very old patients, they took a closer look at the problem.

“We dug a little bit deeper. And we met with the dentists. And what we learned was appalling,” Miller said.

Miller said the rationale for denying the claims was shocking.

“These claims that were going up to the state for review were being kicked back under rationale of ‘Well, they are a young child. Their teeth will fall out anyway.’ Whoa! We should be about health care,” Miller said.

On the other end of the spectrum, Miller said older patients, some on hospice, have been refused care for being too old.

“This bill will prevent claims from being denied merely because of the patient’s age,” Miller said.

The bill from Miller and Schmidt would prevent claims from being denied solely on the age of the patient. Miller said he expects the bill will be taken up for consideration in 2024.