KOHC members and oral health stakeholders from across the state followed along and joined us in advocating for the 2022 KOHC policy and budget priorities throughout the legislative session. These critical efforts paid off with legislative wins for oral health and overall health and positive investments in the state budget.
A number of bills were passed during the legislative session that impact oral health professionals throughout the Commonwealth. The following items have already taken effect, as immediate actions upon passage:
- HB 174, Representatives Cantrell and Moser, which was included in Senate Bill 178, Senator Raque Adams – Extends Medicaid eligibility for new mothers for up to 12 months postpartum. This bill includes dental care covered by Medicaid plans and allows new mothers to access the dental care and treatment they need in the first 12 months after welcoming a new child. A State Plan Amendment for this coverage extension was filed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has been approved.
The following bills went into effect on July 1st:
- HB 1, Representative Petrie – Two-year state budget outlining the state expenditures for budget years 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, including the following KOHC budget priorities:
- Increased funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers to support students’ learning
- Sustained investments in the HANDS home-visiting program to support young children and their families
- Sustained supports for school-based health services
- Sustained Medicaid and KCHIP funding so children and their families can continue accessing necessary health care services and secured funding to establish a Bridge Health Insurance program so Kentuckians can continue accessing needed health care services.
- HB 370, Representative Lewis – Establishes patient transparency within dental benefits. This law will ensure providers and patients feel confident in the coverage from insurance providers for services they are offering or receiving.
- HB 525, Representative Moser – Adds Certified Community Health Workers (CHWs) as a Medicaid billable service provider, a service that can be utilized in dental clinics. Although the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will need to establish a plan to implement this law and ensure CHWs are billable under Medicaid, this law offers a great opportunity for dental offices to utilize the services of CHWs when providing care.
We will soon begin to see the impact of these new policies and we are certain that KOHC member and oral health stakeholders across the state will continue to lend their voices to speak up for Kentuckians and their families as these policies take effect.