Senate Passes Burr Bill to Provide Veterans with Dental Coverage

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate passed Senator Richard Burr’s (R-NC) bill to continue providing veterans with access to dental coverage. The bipartisan VA Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016 will continue the current veteran dental insurance pilot program that was established by legislation authored by Senator Burr in 2010.  This legislation will also expand 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.

“Making sure veterans have dental care is the right thing to do,” said Senator Burr. “The veterans’ dental insurance pilot program has a track record of success and it is time to open it up to all veterans. Medical professionals have long known that proper dental care is linked to better overall health.  I am pleased the Senate has recognized the value of this dental benefit for veterans and has passed my bill.”

The dental insurance pilot 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 bill puts the dental insurance program into law, ensuring 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.