Insurer funding campaign for kids’ dental health

An insurance company has donated $75,000 to increase awareness of and access to dental services for kids in West Michigan.

Delta Dental of Michigan has donated the grant to Health Net of West Michigan, which houses the Kent County Oral Health Coalition, meant to increase awareness and access to dental services for individuals with Healthy Kids Dental coverage.

All individuals up to 21 years old who have Medicaid benefits are automatically enrolled in Healthy Kids Dental coverage. The utilization rate of the coverage in Kent County is at 44.75%, based on data pulled from Oct. 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, the partners said.

The goal of the partnership is to increase utilization rates and ensure that Kent County youth receive the dental care they need.

Health Net’s client services team will assist families to understand their coverage and connect them with a dental provider. The Kent County Oral Health Coalition will lead an awareness campaign through existing partnerships in the community to increase awareness of Healthy Kids Dental benefits.

“As one of the primary providers of Healthy Kids Dental coverage in Michigan, we welcome discussions about ways to address the gaps in care as it relates to oral health,” said Dr. Erik Stier, Delta Dental’s director of quality improvement, utilization and population health management.

“We act in collaboration with our partners to encourage the establishment of dental homes and to encourage lifelong healthy habits, including the appropriate use of the benefits available through the Healthy Kids Dental program.”