PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -
It's been less than a month since dental benefits were restored for Illinois adults in the Medicaid system and local dental clinics are already seeing a significant increase in patients.
Officials with the Pike County Dental Clinic say appointment numbers have doubled in the past couple of weeks.
Adult dental care was cut in 2012 to save money. On July 1, under a new Affordable Care Act category, Illinois opened Medicaid to all income-eligible adults between ages 19 and 64.
"Many of them have not seen a dentist in quite some time because they could not afford it," Jan Bleich with the Pike County Dental Clinic said. "It's difficult to find a dentist who will accept payment from the medical card."
The new plan covers restorative work such as fillings, but patients still won't have coverage for preventive work, such as cleanings.
"It's not comprehensive dental care for adults but it is good, basic dental care," Bleich said.
If you have questions about your coverage or would like to make an appointment, you can call the Pike County Health Department at (217) 285-5311.