California’s largest dental health plan announced plans today to distribute nearly $6 million in state and federal funds to improve the oral health of low-income children lacking private dental insurance.
Contracts signed between California’s Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) and Delta Dental of California will pave the way for more than 35 individual projects recently proposed by Delta’s Community Partner Programs department — the same Delta Dental unit that administers state and county-sponsored dental benefits for nearly half a million California children.
Delta will direct the funds to increase dental staffing, hire mobile dental vans, and provide other needed resources to community dental clinics and related organizations throughout the state treating children with unmet dental needs.
MRMIB recently signed two contracts with Delta Dental; the first provides $3.2 million to administer the “Oral Health Demonstration Project” (OHDP), a three-year project targeting children ages 0 to 5 in 16 counties. A second contract for $2.9 million is for the “Rural Health Demonstration Project” (RHDP), which includes funding for 20 community-based clinics and non-profit entities serving rural areas and/or special populations, which are identified as children of migrant and seasonal farm workers, fishing and forestry workers and Native Americans.
The dental clinics and community-based organizations identified under the two contracts will each receive between $60,000 and $300,000 to increase their capacity to treat eligible children in the areas they serve.
With this most recent round of funding, Delta Dental has been selected to administer over $23 million by MRMIB since 1998 to increase access to dental care for children.
“We are grateful to be in this rather unique position, where we can very clearly identify and support community clinics committed to alleviating the pain and symptoms associated with dental disease,” said Gary D. Radine, Delta’s president and chief executive officer. “MRMIB and the people of California who supported the various initiatives that fund these programs are to be commended for recognizing how vital good dental health really is to the well-being of our state’s children.”