Lake County News Release
June 26, 2012

Leslie Piotrowski
(847) 377-8055

Carolyn Waller

 (847) 377-8099

Lake County Health Department

Medicaid Cuts Impact Health Department's Dental/Medical Programs
Due to recent cuts in the state Medicaid program, as of July 1, 2012 Medicaid will no longer cover dental routine exams, fillings, dentures, root canals, crowns or cleanings at the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center for adults. However, extractions for adult dental emergencies, such as acute infections and trauma, will continue to be covered. Dental services for children remain covered by Medicaid.

Additionally, adults on Medicaid will be required to begin paying a $3.65 co-pay for most medical services, including doctor and clinic visits. Those patients must pay a $2 co-pay for each generic prescription and a $3.65 co-pay for each name brand prescription at their pharmacies. Children and adults using Medicaid will be limited to four prescriptions in a month unless their doctor or pharmacist receives special approval to have prescriptions beyond that number covered. Chiropractic care is no longer covered by Medicaid, and podiatry care from any foot doctor is covered for adults only if they have diabetes. Payment for eyeglasses for adults is limited to one pair every two years.

The Health Department's six community health centers currently serve more than 14,000 dental patients. About 2,600 of these adult patients, who are Medicaid recipients, are directly affected by this change in dental covered services. Additionally, about 460 adults of the nearly 40,000 medical patients are directly affected by the eligibility changes in Medicaid. However, the $3.65 co-pay will apply to most adults seeking medical services, with only limited exceptions.  

"We will be working with our patients in this difficult situation," said Irene Pierce, the Health Department's Executive Director. "We want patients to know that we want them to continue coming to us for services. Our staff will be moving Medicaid patients to a sliding fee scale for dental services, which means that they will pay for services based on their income.  We will be setting up financial payment plans to help our patients continue to receive care."

The Health Department has been providing dental services to patients for more than 30 years.  Dental services include a full range of general dentistry for children and adults, including cleanings, X-rays, fillings, prosthodontics and periodontic services. Its community health centers are located in Waukegan (one on Grand Avenue and one on Belvidere Road), Zion, North Chicago, Round Lake Beach and Highland Park. For more information, visit: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Health/want/Pages/Dental.aspx.

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