by Kathleen Henley, Program Support Coordinator at CHCACT
I would never have really considered myself to be a huge promoter of oral hygiene. I have always brushed my teeth at least twice a day, eaten foods that are good for teeth (apples, broccoli, celery, water, etc.), and gone to the dentist annually. Yet, I was never really worried about my oral hygiene or thought it had much of an impact on my overall health. I had friends that would brush after every meal, never had a speck of food in their braces, and constantly fretted about anything tooth-related. Not me!
I was lucky. In my house, you can’t go to sleep until you’ve brushed your teeth. It is unheard of, actually, to even leave the premises without brushing your teeth first. It was ingrained in my brain from the very beginning that oral health was important. My parents were not as fortunate when they were growing up and they are dealing with the impact in their older years. I was also lucky because I was never really a huge fan of soda or super sugary things.
Free dental care at CT Mission of Mercy 2012.
Many people, especially those that are uninsured and underserved, are not as lucky. Without insurance, annual visits to the dentist are not possible. What about braces? Forget about it. A toothbrush and toothpaste might even be out of the question. Dental care can be expensive – so for many people it isn’t an option. Thankfully there are clinics like the Connecticut Mission of Mercy that provide thousands of people with free dental care. And of course many community health centers, including those here in Connecticut, provide oral health care to the ininsured and underinsured as well. Continue reading
This is a guest post from Katherine Yacavone, President/CEO of Southwest Community Health Center in Bridgeport, CT. This was originally submitted as a letter to the editor for the New Haven Register. Kathy’s letter discusses the proposed 1115 Waiver, which would have numerous negative consequences for the state and its citizens.
I represent the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) on the Medical Assistance Program Oversight.
Kathy Yacavone and the Board of Directors for Southwest Community Health Center
I am writing to you to express my concern as to the impact of the proposed Waiver upon the current 73,915 Medicaid Low Income Adults (MLIA) and upon the FQHCs that provide the majority of the medical, dental and behavioral health services to the population (formerly SAGA enrollees). I thought your readers should be aware of this critical issue that will directly impact them and the state taxes they pay.
by Malone Smith, Clinical Program Coordinator at the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut
Have you ever experienced the feeling of not being able to go to doctor or not being able to pay your medical bills because you’ve had no insurance? The United States census stated in 2010 that 49.9 million Americans are uninsured.
The Community Health Center Association of Connecticut has been working alongside Department of Social Services for many years on the Medicaid Outreach Program, which was designed to screen and enroll eligible clients into the Medicaid Programs available from the State of Connecticut. Today, the Department of Social Services is contracted with CHCACT, who in turn has contracts with twelve of CT’s federally qualified health centers to maintain a full time eligibility coordinator on staff.
In the state of CT there have been many changes to the Medicaid Program and access to care. As of January 1, 2012, the state of CT moved from a managed care organizational model to an administrative service organizational model, for which Community Health Network of CT
was chosen. The program is now called the HUSKY Health Program and includes HUSKY A for Families, HUSKY B for Children, HUSKY C for the Aged, Blind and Disabled, and HUSKY D for Low income Adults.
Starting with the Medicaid Program in October 2011, I have been able to experience the impact that the eligibility workers have on their clients, health centers and surrounding communities. Each one of the eligibility staff possesses great passion for the job they do and work hard to enroll as many individuals as they can. The staff’s first priority is being an advocate for the clients they serve and to work hard to educate and assist in the complexity of determining eligibility and applying for insurance. The Medicaid Outreach Program has been a huge success and now with the changes to the program there will be more opportunity to expand and reach more of the uninsured community.
For more information regarding the HUSKY Health program, go to www.huskyhealthct.org.