A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Dental Benefits Restored -- In Michigan

Dental Benefits Restored -- In Michigan

October 6, 2010

The Governor of Michigan signed additional legislation this week that, among other things, reinstates their adult dental services. By making oral health a priority, Michigan is ensuring the overall health and quality of life of all of their residents.

The Surgeon General’s Oral Health In America report suggests that oral health problems can lead to other severe health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and premature birth. Poor oral health can also impact a person’s ability to eat, talk, and concentrate at work or school.

Michigan seems to understand that with proper care, early oral disease such as dental decay is entirely preventable. Including dental services in programs like MassHealth protects the residents of the Commonwealth and makes financial sense- oral health services provided to adults through MassHealth reduce costs to the state by preventing costly emergency services and decreasing the severity of other chronic diseases. A Kaiser study found the 2002 elimination of dental services merely shifted the cost of care to other parts of the health care system.

As the state slowly recovers from these hard economic times, we must work together to ensure that decision-makers in the state make reinstatement of oral health programs like MassHealth adult dental a priority. To join in the fight for access to oral health care, join us at one of our many events throughout the state or visit www.hcfama.org/oralhealth.

-Christine Keeves