Arizona Medicaid Dental Coverage (AHCCCS) for adults provides emergency dental care for those enrolled in Medicaid Access. Unfortunately, exams, x-rays, cleanings, and other types of preventive dentistry are not covered. The AHCCCS Medical Policy Manual (AMPM) outlines the procedures that are eligible for coverage. However, the services available may vary depending on enrollment. In the past, preventive and restorative services such as cleanings, fillings, braces, and dentures were only available in hospitals for inpatients, those under 21 enrolled in AHCCCS, and adults enrolled in the Arizona Long Term Care System.
Without congressional action, the program that covers 22,000 children in Arizona will expire in September. During times of fiscal austerity, such as during the recession in Arizona, Medicaid dental benefits for adults are often among the first to be affected. In recent years, oral health advocates have lobbied state legislators to find money to restore a variety of dental services for adults under Maryland's Medicaid program. The issue remains a source of division, but dental therapists are closer to becoming a new licensed profession in Arizona. Maryland was not on Kaiser's list of states without dental benefits for adults; however, all dental benefits for adults were eliminated in 1976 except for emergency benefits which were reduced in 1993.