Mich. extends dental care to more Medicaid kids

Michigan has added more than 64,000 children to the state's Healthy Kids Dental program, bringing the total number of children enrolled in the program to half a million across 78 counties. Children living in Ingham, Ottawa, and Washtenaw counties now have access to dental care.

The program expansion is due to the state budget that took effect this week.

The program is available to Medicaid enrollees younger than age 21 in 78 of 83 Michigan counties. It remains unavailable to nearly a half-million poor children in the highly populated counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, and Kalamazoo, but in 2015, another planned expansion will cover an additional 100,000 children.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and Delta Dental of Michigan, the insurance company administering the dental program, celebrated the program's expansion at a Lansing elementary school on October 1.

The Healthy Kids Dental program -- a public-private partnership between the Michigan Department of Community Health and Delta Dental of Michigan -- began 13 years ago and is recognized today by the American Dental Association as one of five national models for improving access to quality dental care for low-income children.

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