If you’ve been putting it off, it’s time to book those dental appointments for your kids. As of 1 July 2011, basic dental care coverage for children is expanding.
The importance of dental health
Schneider Children’s Medical Center recommends taking your child to the dentist by the time he turns one as does the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Moreover, oral health is an important part of your overall health. The Mayo Clinic reports that lapses in oral health can lead to other health issues including more widespread infections and even cardiovascular disease.
Age range of children eligible is growing
Beginning last year, children up to age 8 were eligible to receive basic dental care for free. Now, children up to age 10 are included. Children up to age 12 are to be included next year, and children up to age 14 the year after. The expansion is expected to continue until all children up to the age of 18 are included.
There is either no cost for covered treatments or a co-pay of up to 20 NIS. Covered treatments include:
- Exam by a dentist (free – once a year or more if recommended by the dentist)
- X-rays (free – up to twice a year)
- Cleaning (free – once a year or more if recommended by the dentist)
- Sealing cracks
While some immigrants seem to prefer private dental clinics (which are not covered by this law), my family and I have had great experiences at the dental clinic associated with our health fund. With the opportunity to improve your child’s health and save money, consider giving your local health fund dentist a try!