Healthy Kids Dental program expands statewide to all children under 21 with Medicaid
Delta Dental looks to child, health advocates to spread word about program
The first of October welcomed a major milestone for the Healthy Kids Dental (HKD) program, a public private partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Delta Dental of Michigan.
As of October 1, the HKD program expanded to include children with Medicaid under age 21 in Kent, Oakland and Wayne counties. This expansion has benefited an additional 115,503 children and young adults. Previously, the program was only available to children under age 13 in those three counties.
As a result of this expansion, HKD is now available to Michigan children with Medicaid under age 21 in every county in the state, which is 960,000 children.
HKD, which is a dental benefit program for children with Medicaid, covers dental services such as X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, sealants and more at no cost to families. And because 8 out of 10 Michigan dentists accept HKD, finding a dentist is easy and convenient.
Studies show children with HKD coverage are more likely to receive dental treatment than those with traditional Medicaid fee-for-service dental coverage. In fact, dental visits are substantially higher for children who are enrolled in HKD, and children are more likely to have a dental home.
“Now, Medicaid-eligible children and young adults under 21 in the entire state will be enrolled automatically in the program, allowing increased access to dentists through the Delta Dental network,” MDHHS Director Nick Lyon said. “Let’s celebrate this milestone and continue to spread the word about this partnership that ensures more of our children and teens are receiving the dental care they need and deserve.”
In addition to the expansion, which allows children to receive high-quality dental care at no cost to their families, Delta Dental has launched a multifaceted campaign to educate about and increase utilization of the HKD program.
“It’s not enough to have this amazing benefit, we want to make sure families use it,” said Teri Battaglieri, Director of Communications, Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy at Delta Dental of Michigan. “We want to educate case workers, social workers, teachers, health professionals and others who work with families and children about the program. We also want parents and caregivers to have the information they need to fully utilize the program.”
For more information about Healthy Kids Dental, visit www.HealthyKidsDental.org