Booher: DCH budget extends Healthy Kids Dental to Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties

LANSING?Under the budget for the Department of Community Health (DCH) finalized by the Legislature on Thursday, Medicaid-eligible children in every county in the 35th Senate District will have access to dental care, said Sen. Darwin Booher.

“Extending the effective Healthy Kids Dental program to Mecosta, Osceola and Wexford counties will help improve the health of thousands of children and reduce Medicaid costs,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The program increases access to dental care for disadvantaged and underserved children. Its proven results have been better overall health for children in the program and reduced costs for taxpayers.”

The DCH budget includes $16.7 million to expand the Healthy Kids Dental (HKD) program, with a priority on Michigan’s rural counties.

“I worked to extend this program because it is smart, efficient policy,” Booher said. “It improves the lives of thousands of Michigan children in a cost-effective manner.”

The program is a private-public partnership between the DCH and Delta Dental and provides dental benefits to Medicaid-eligible residents under the age of 21.

The Healthy Kids Dental program covers services such as X-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canals, tooth extractions and dentures. Beneficiaries receive treatment from dentists who participate with Delta Dental’s HKD program, which includes approximately 75 percent of Michigan dentists.

To find a participating dentist, residents may use Dental Dental’s HKD dentist directory.