Washtenaw County Dental Clinic Celebrates Two Years and Over 10,000 Patient Visits, Now Accepts All Medicaid Plans
The clinic provides low-cost dental care for adults and children with Medicaid, MIChild or Healthy Kids, or who are uninsured and low income.
Tomorrow, Feb. 17, the Washtenaw County Dental Clinic celebrates its second anniversary. Since opening, the dental clinic has provided more than 10,352 patient visits to adults and kids with Medicaid or who are uninsured and low income. It served over 1,500 adults and children in 2015 and more than 2,500 in 2016.
The Washtenaw County Dental Clinic is also now taking all types of Medicaid, including Blue Cross Complete. This change will add to the impact the dental clinic has had in expanding dental health care across the county in the past two years, especially in Ypsilanti.
“Our local dental clinic has allowed thousands of additional kids and adults in Washtenaw County to receive dental care,” says Ellen Rabinowitz, health officer for Washtenaw County Public Health. “Now that everyone with a Medicaid plan is eligible for services, we’re looking forward to seeing many, many new faces at the dental clinic.”
In the past, locals with Medicaid had difficulty finding dentists who could accept their coverage. In 2012, for example, there were 24,000 adults in Washtenaw County on Medicaid and only four private dentists or dental practices reporting that they were accepting new adult Medicaid patients.
The new dental clinic was one of several improvements that led to 6,700 additional Washtenaw adults and kids with Medicaid receiving dental services in 2015 compared to 2013 (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid Office, 2016). The Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and the Healthy Kids Dental program’s arrival in Washtenaw have also given many more adults and children access to dental coverage. However, still only one in two Washtenaw kids, and one in four adults, on Medicaid had any dental exams in 2015. Many people don’t seek out dental care because they don’t know it is available and covered by their insurance.
The Washtenaw County Dental Clinic is accepting new patients, and takes all types of Medicaid, MIChild and Healthy Kids. An estimated 8,000 additional local residents are eligible for coverage at the clinic now that it accepts all Medicaid plans. Low-cost care is also available to those who are uninsured and low-income.
Kayleigh is one Washtenaw resident whose smile has benefitted from the Washtenaw County Dental Clinic. She claims she’d likely still have a dozen cavities if the clinic’s affordable services weren’t available. “It was such a relief to not have to worry about going broke just keeping my teeth healthy,” she says.
The eleven-chair Washtenaw County Dental Clinic is located in the Haab Health Building at 111 N. Huron Street in downtown Ypsilanti. For more information, new patients and community members are always welcome to stop by the clinic, visit www.ewashtenaw.org/smile or call patient services at 877-313-6232. Hours are weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and Thursdays until 5:30 pm.
February is also Children’s Dental Health Month, which makes it a perfect time to schedule dental visits for the entire family, and to maintain good oral health by brushing, flossing, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy snacks.
Thanks to our Washtenaw County Dental Clinic Partners
With the support of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, Washtenaw County Public Health joined together with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, the Washtenaw Health Plan and My Community Dental Centers to open the Washtenaw County Dental Clinic. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System generously provided space in its Haab Health Building rent-free. The Washtenaw Health Plan contributed to the startup costs and continues to help people access dental care. My Community Dental Centers operates the clinic on Public Health’s behalf. A public art gallery, filled with the work of 60 student artists from 20 local elementary, middle and high schools, brightens the walls of the clinic.
Washtenaw County Public Health
Washtenaw County Public Health promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs. Visit Washtenaw County Public Health online at http://publichealth.ewashtenaw.org or call 734-544-6700.