Burr Bill to Expand Dental Care for Veterans Becomes Law

WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama signed Senator Richard Burr’s (R-NC) legislation to ensure veterans continue to have access to dental coverage into law. The bipartisan VA Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016 will continue the current veteran dental insurance program that was established by legislation authored by Senator Burr in 2010. This legislation also expands eligibility for the program to all veterans who do not currently receive dental benefits from the VA. Senator John Tester (D-MT) is a cosponsor.

“We owe a great debt to our service men and women for the great sacrifices they make to keep our country safe,” said Sen. Burr. “I’m proud that my legislation to bring dental benefits to veterans is now law and that many of our service members will now be able to have this important health care benefit. This program has been successful, and opening it up to more veterans will improve overall health care. I thank my colleagues who supported this bipartisan effort.”

The dental insurance program was established in 2014 and has been providing veterans with access to dental care for three years. If Congress does not act, the families currently participating will lose their dental insurance benefits when the program sunsets in 2017.

The veterans, survivors and dependents who participate in the program have given it high marks for access to care and quality. The new Burr law ensures that eligible veterans, survivors and dependents of veterans continue to have access to high quality, affordable dental insurance. 

Veterans who are eligible to receive their dental care directly from the VA will not be impacted by this program and will continue to receive their care through VA.

The text of the legislation is available here.

A one-pager on the bill is available here.