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On Friday, Iowa Governor Chet Culver announced that the state's Department of Human Services has created the nation's first dental-only program for underinsured children who come from low-income families.
The initiative is designed for children who do not have dental insurance and whose family's annual income would qualify for the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa program, according to KCII.com. The maximum family income threshold for a family of two is $43,710.
"Ensuring our children have access to quality, affordable health care is a top priority of my administration," said Culver, in a statement released on Friday. "I am proud to announce this dental-only option as a major step toward getting kids the coverage they not only need, but deserve."
DHS Director Charles Krogmeier believes that as many as 22,000 underprivileged kids may enroll in the new program by the end of the year. The dental-only initiative will cover routine care and some "medically necessary" orthodontia procedures.
Tooth decay remains the single most common chronic childhood disease five times more widespread than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.
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