Howard County Insurance Coverage To Include Dental Services

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A Howard County, Md., health program that seeks to increase access to care starting Oct. 1 will expand its coverage to include discounted dental services, county health officials announced on Monday, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Under the Healthy Howard program, beneficiaries will receive a 35% to 50% discount on services from 75 participating dentists and orthodontists who are part of the Aetna dental program, Mike Bucci, marketing vice president for Aetna, said. For example, a typical semiannual dental exam and cleaning, which costs about $80, would be discounted to $50, and more expensive dental work would be eligible for greater discounts, Bucci said. The dental benefit will cost individuals an additional $1.65 monthly and families $3.30.

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The program will cost the county $750,000 in private funds for the first year. Aetna has already committed to providing $56,000, and Horizon Foundation is expected to announce a larger donation on Friday.

County Executive Ken Ulman said the state House and state Senate in the past few days approved legislation that would create a place for the Healthy Howard program in state law. Separately, County Health Officer Peter Beilenson announced that the county on Monday mailed letters to families with annual incomes less than $60,000 informing them that they might be eligible to enroll in SCHIP (Carson, Baltimore Sun, 3/25).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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