SC Medicaid may cover dental, weight-loss services


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's Medicaid director is seeking money to provide dental care to adults, weight-loss help for obese adults, and health screenings.

Those three new benefits were part of director Tony Keck's budget presentation Wednesday before a House Ways and Means panel. The initiatives would cost $15.3 million from state taxes and $52 million total when including federal money.

Currently, Medicaid in South Carolina covers only emergency tooth extractions for adults. Keck's plan would for the first time cover preventive services.

Keck says the need for dental care extends beyond improving health, since missing teeth, cavities and abscesses can make it difficult for people to find work and — if they're in pain and can't concentrate — keep it.

The agency is developing a plan to cover services for obese adults.

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