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NADP Calls on Congress and the White House to Work Together to Cover Children's Dental Health

DALLAS, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) calls on Congress and the Administration to collaborate on reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Specifically, NADP urges prompt action to enact the dental provisions of the House and Senate passed CHIP reauthorization bill.

In letters to congressional health policy leaders, NADP emphasized the following key points:

-- Dental services should be a mandatory CHIP benefit.

-- CHIP coverage should supplement not supplant private coverage.

-- Public awareness of the importance of oral health and dental

coverage should be expanded.

-- Dental payers should be involved in development of pediatric

quality dental measures.

-- Medicare Advantage plans that offer dental services to older

Americans should not be undermined.

NADP Executive Director, Evelyn F. Ireland, explained, "It is disheartening that the number one childhood disease in the United States is dental disease (caries). It is five times more prevalent than asthma, and yet it is a completely preventable illness." She continues, "NADP's 2007 Consumer Survey indicates cost is the top barrier to accessing dental care, and dental benefits overcome that barrier. With 57% of the population currently covered by dental benefits, adding dental to the CHIP program is an important step in expanding access to care and improving the oral and overall health of the nation's children."

For copies of NADP's congressional letters, please contact NADP directly.

The National Association of Dental Plans is a non-profit trade association representing the entire dental benefits industry, including dental HMOs, dental PPOs, discount dental plans and dental indemnity products. NADP's member dental plans provide dental benefits to more than 136 million of the approximately 170 million Americans with dental benefits.

SOURCE National Association of Dental Plans
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