A Healthy Blog

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

Michigan Moving in the Right Direction To Restore Medicaid Oral Health Benefits

Michigan Moving in the Right Direction To Restore Medicaid Oral Health Benefits

September 24, 2010

Recent news from Michigan indicates that Medicaid dental benefits for adults may soon be restored. Like Massachusetts, Michigan cut their dental program to balance the budget. A House-Senate conference committee reinstated the dental program this week. There are still several more steps in the approval process- however, MI residents should remain hopeful, and decision-makers in the Commonwealth should take note of the importance of oral health care.

Oral health IS health- it is linked to a multitude of complex, costly health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Infections in the mouth can cause needless pain and suffering, and can spread throughout the body. With regular access to preventive measures such as dental screenings, information about prevention, fluoride treatments, and appropriate referral to a dentist, dental disease is almost entirely preventable.

As the economy begins to turn around, we need to follow Michigan’s lead in ensuring that access to oral health services is prioritized and restored as quickly as possible. To find out more about how to speak up for oral health, visit www.hcfama.org/oralhealth.
-Christine Keeves