What We're Watching
Last updated November 29, 2021
Prepping for 2022 Legislative Session
Virginia’s 2022 legislative session is January 12, 2022 – March 12, 2022. This is considered a long session (even years session is 60 days, odd years session is 30 days) and will in part focus on a new state budget.
Catalyst’s legislative priority for 2022 is—
Increase Reimbursement Rates
Catalyst is partnering with the Virginia Dental Association to advocate for increased Medicaid reimbursement rates for dentists to more closely reflect private insurance reimbursement rates. The Medicaid dental program has not raised rates in over sixteen years. Check back for updated information.
If you have feedback or personal stories about Medicaid reimbursement rates or the new adult dental benefit, please fill out this form.
2022 Legislative Session Webinar
Join our 2022 Legislative Session Prep Webinar on Dec. 17, 10:00 am -11:00 am, where we’ll share our priorities for the upcoming session, what to expect during session, and takeaways from the Governor’s proposed 2-year budget (to be released December 15th).
Federal Policy Watch
Catalyst is watching two main federal infrastructure policy discussions—
Dental in Medicare Part B
Congress is considering adding coverage for dental services as part of Medicare Part B (the Federal insurance program for Americans age 65+ and some individuals with special health care needs). This is a BIG deal. Nearly 1.5 million Virginians are enrolled in Medicare, many of whom face significant cost barriers to access dental care. Like adding a Medicaid dental benefit for adults in the Commonwealth, this is a critical next step to ensuring all Virginians have access to comprehensive health care.
Find additional resources and information from our friends at Families USA.
Medicaid Dental Benefit Act
A federal bill is being introduced in Congress that would make adult dental services mandatory coverage for all adults on Medicaid (HR4439). Currently, each state makes this determination. Virginia passed an adult dental benefit in 2020, but is one of only 20 states with extensive dental benefit coverage for adults; 30 states have little to no coverage for adults on Medicaid. This new bill is not tied to the ongoing budget reconciliation package.
Legislation that's passed-
American Jobs Plan - Water Infrastructure
Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Nov. 5, and President Biden officially signed it into law on Monday, Nov. 15. It allocates significant funds towards infrastructure, including support for improvements to the nation’s crumbling water infrastructure, without which, Virginians cannot be guaranteed access to clean water. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Virginia can expect to receive $738 million over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is available in all communities. You can read more about the bill’s impact on Virginia here.