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Dental discount program will be offered in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Orleans County residents lacking dental care can now access services at a discounted rate. Eight of the 12 dentists in the county have agreed to reduce their fees for uninsured residents.

The county has partnered with Health Economics, a Rochester firm, to offer the program. Residents will pay $36.50 for an individual card annually or $52 for a family program. That goes towards the administration costs.

It’s the second partnership the county has reached with an outside company to make health care more affordable for residents, Legislature Chairman David Callard said.

In 2009, the county started offered prescription drug cards through ProAct Inc., a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs. That program saves residents without health insurance about 36 percent on prescription drugs, according to the county.

Callard said he would like to partner with a company to secure eye care discounts for uninsured residents.

He expects the county and Health Economics will start pushing the new dental discount program in April. A list of participating dentists and the discounted rates for services will be available on the county website, www.orleansny.com.

Eric Lintala, director of business development for Health Economics, said residents should save about 30 to 40 percent in dental services through the program. Dentists will benefit with new patients who likely had been avoiding dental care because of the costs, Lintala told county legislators on March 13.

The dental discount program has been endorsed by the New York State Association of Counties. Several counties have joined with Health Economics in offering the discounts. Residents can cross county borders to use their cards if dentists are members of the program.

“We’re trying to get people access to the dentist and promote good oral health,” Lintala said.