Unemployment leaves millions without dental insurance

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Millions of people have been left without dental insurance after losing their jobs.

Since the recession hit, unemployment has risen rapidly and consequently, millions of people have lost employment benefits, including medical and dental insurance. People across the USA have struggled over the course of the last three years, as businesses folded and companies let employees go to save money.

Michigan is one of the worst-affected areas; the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country and last year authorities voted to remove dental care from the list of benefits offered by Medicaid. The Michigan Dental Association has condemned the move, saying that this decision, coupled with high unemployment rates, has made it extremely difficult for patients to afford dental treatment. Unemployment has also hit families hard and it has been reported that standards of oral health amongst children in the Michigan area are falling, as parents struggle to afford routine dental examinations.

Emergency departments have also revealed that has been an increase in the number of patients being admitted with dental health problems; patients are avoiding going to their dentists because of rising costs and their condition is consequently worsening to the point where they need emergency treatment. Emergency treatment can cost thousands of dollars, which is a huge problem facing those without insurance; medical staff are also placed in a difficult situation, as they aware that the patient needs medical help but cannot afford to pay for the treatment. Routine treatment and regular examinations could help to eliminate the need for costly treatment further down the line.

For millions of people, unemployment has signified a loss of several benefits, not just the loss of a job; now, millions are facing an uphill struggle, as they search for employment and struggle to find the money they need for medical and dental care. Numerous free clinics and events are being hosted throughout the country but they can only treat a minute proportion of the people that desperately need help.

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