New Report Shows Thousands Lose Dental And Vision Coverage After Medicaid Rollbacks

Jul 12, 2018

Gov. Matt Bevin
Credit Kentucky.com

A new report says thousands of people across the Commonwealth lost their dental and vision coverage as well as transportation assistance in the recent Medicaid expansion rollbacks .

The data published by the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy shows the number of Kentuckians enrolled under the Medicaid expansion by each county. Most counties across the state had around 10 percent of residents lose dental, vision and transportation assistance. More than 76 thousand residents lost benefits in Jefferson County. KCEP Policy Analyst Dustin Pugel says cutting these benefits are harmful to people’s health and could be costly for the state in the long run.

“When California ended their dental benefits in the late 2000’s, the cost of ER visits for dental related pain went up by 68 percent the next couple of years,” he said.

Eastern Kentucky was the hardest hit. Most counties there saw around 20 percent of their population lose benefits - including Owsley County, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the state at 45 percent-- according to U.S. Census data. The cuts came after Governor Bevin's plan to overhaul the state's Medicaid program was blocked by a federal judge earlier this month. I’m Taylor Inman in Murray.