Friday, March 15, 2013

Colorado Advocates Rush to Save Kid Dental Benefits on Exchange

Colorado health advocates are renewing a push to make child dental care mandatory on the new state insurance exchange, after federal officials declared the benefits "essential" but "optional."

Dental-care policies will be offered on the state exchange opening in October, parallel to health-insurance offers, but there is no federal mandate to buy oral-health coverage.

Colorado advocates for underserved children and a coalition of oral-health experts want the state exchange to go further than the federal decision, made late last month. They note that Colorado has fallen behind on key oral-health measurements and that Gov. John Hickenlooper's administration has declared dental care one of the "10 Winnable" public-health battles.

"It's very important to the health of our children that if we have a mandated medical benefit, we also have a mandated dental benefit at the same time," said Karen Cody Carlson, executive director of Oral Health Colorado, a broad spectrum of providers and public- health activists. "We're working on several different avenues."
                                                                                                              -By Michael Booth, The Denver Post

For the rest of the story, go to The Denver Post.

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