HB 465 – Medicaid dental services

Phil Haunschild 2018 House bill ratings

Bill description: HB 465 would expand Medicaid to cover all dental services for program participants.

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government? 

HB 465 would expand the Medicaid program in Idaho by extending coverage for all dental services to all participants. Currently, adults are limited to major medical procedures, while children, pregnant women, and adults with disabilities or special health needs have more expansive coverage.


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt? 

The Fiscal Note for HB 465 estimates the total cost of covering all dental care under the Medicaid program to be $4.3 million. State taxpayers would have to pay $1.24 million of this, while federal taxpayers would cover the remainder.

The Fiscal Note does estimate that the coverage change could save the state in the future by eliminating the need for major medical procedures that stem from a lack of preventative care.

The addition of roughly $3 million in federal funds that would come as a result of program expansion would further cement Idaho’s dependency on the federal government. This deeper dependency potentially puts Idaho on the hook for a much larger amount should the federal government reduce match rates or change other program policies.