Pregnant Women on Dr. Dynasaur to get comprehensive dental coverage

A priority of the Vermont Oral Health Care for All Coalition Gets the Full Support of the Senate Appropriations Committee

The FY13 House budget included the Vermont Oral Health Care for All Coalition’s request to expand the dental benefit for pregnant women on Dr. Dynasaur.  During April 10th deliberations, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed that this important provision should be added to the budget and voted to include it.  The Committee will finish marking up the budget this week and should send it to the full Senate for a vote by next week.

The Vermont Oral Health Care for All Coalition, led by Voices for Vermont’s Children, VT Campaign for Health Care Security, People’s Health & Wellness Clinic, Community of VT Elders, and VT Low-Income Advocacy Council, has worked the last two years to build a statewide consumer voice and raise public awareness of the need for better access to affordable dental care.  The Coalition’s comprehensive agenda includes expanding dental coverage, adding a Licensed Dental Practitioner to the dental team, and including dental care in Green Mountain Care.

This past year a priority of this consumer-based coalition of 41 organizations has been to expand dental coverage for pregnant women on Dr. Dynasaur.  We know that the oral health of this population of women directly impacts the health of their children.  This initiative will allow pregnant women who are on Dr. Dynasaur to receive full dental benefits while pregnant and for 60 days post-partum, regardless of their age.

We applaud the recognition by policy makers of the need for this group of adults to receive a comprehensive dental benefit.

Thank you to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, especially Chair Martha Heath for her leadership and Vice-Chair Mitzi Johnson for championing this initiative in the House, and Chair Jane Kitchel for her leadership in the Senate.

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