Are you or your children eligible for free dental care in Michigan? Bridge Magazine can link to you to several helpful resources below.
More than 420,000 Michigan’s low-income youngsters and teens went without dental care last year, even though care would have been free. In many cases, their parents have gone for years without dental coverage themselves, so oral care is not part of the family routines, dentists told Bridge.
And that’s more serious than just tooth pain. Poor oral health has been associated with a number of serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, complications with pregnancies, pneumonia, and even endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers or valves.
Healthy Kids Dental provides dental care through Healthy Michigan, which is the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid provides benefits to the state’s needy families, such as food assistance, health and dental care, and help paying utility bills.
More individuals and families have become eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” The 2010 law extended insurance to millions of uninsured people, in part by raising the income limits that determine eligibility for Medicaid. More than 650,000 Michiganders are now enrolled in Healthy Michigan, including thousands of low-income adults who previously had no dental coverage.
The newly expanded Healthy Michigan plan provides basic dental care, including check-ups, cleaning, x-rays, fillings, extractions and dentures or partial dentures for adults. There are even more benefits available to children.
Generally, Michigan residents in 2019 are eligible for Medicaid if their household income, before taxes, is about 133% of the Federal Poverty Level ‒ about $16,612 for an individual, $34,248 for a family of four, or $57,762 for a family of eight. Residents also must be a U.S. national, citizen or permanent resident to qualify.
To find out more, or apply for coverage through Healthy Michigan, visit: www.michigan.gov/mibridges. You can also watch this video or call 855-789-5610 for more information.
The state also provides assistants (called Navigators) and community partners who can help residents determine whether they’re eligible for healthcare or other government services and, if so, how to apply. You can search for them in your area by entering your address or zip code.
For low-income families whose income is just above the income limits, no- and low-cost care is provided at health centers through the Michigan Primary Care Association. Costs vary depending on income. Find a location near you with this tool.
This article originally appeared in Bridge Michigan.