Earlier this week, DrBicuspid.com broke the news
that the Caregivers
and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, which was signed into
law on May 5, will include a three-year pilot program on providing
dental insurance to veterans. Here is an excerpt from the
article at DrBicuspid.com:
The insurance program will be voluntary, and the VA
"will contract with a dental insurer" to administer the plan,
charging premiums high enough to cover its cost.
VA spokesman Drew Brookie said he had no information
yet beyond the text of the bill itself, which leaves unclear such
key questions as where the pilot program will take place and how
patients and providers can sign up.
Covered benefits will include at minimum diagnostic, preventive,
endodontic, and other restorative services, as well as surgical and
Currently, veterans are only eligible for dental benefits under one
of the following circumstances: their dental needs result from
their military service, their dental needs affect a covered medical
condition, they are disabled or unemployable because of their
service, or they are homeless or in rehabilitation. The VA directly
employs a team of dentists. The new law specifically leaves these
programs in place.
Under the terms of the new law, the pilot dental insurance program
will start some time in the next 267 days and will last three
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced
Oral Health Initiative. Part of that initiative will be funding
dental programs within the Health
Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As many of these
grants will be competitive, HRSA is thus in need of grant
Specifically, HRSA is looking for dentists, including private
practitioners, with expertise in
- Health professions training
- Maternal and child health
- Organ transplantation
- Primary care for underserved people
- Rural health
Grants are usually reviewed over the course of three to five days
in Washington, D.C. All travel costs and logistics will be handled
by HRSA, and reviewers will receive an honorarium.
Those interested in becoming a grant reviewer should out an online
. If you have questions or need more information,
contact ADA staff member Dr. Steven Geiermann at (800) 621-8099,
extension 2667, or (312) 440-2667.
Additional information from the ADA follows:
HRSA funds a variety of health care initiatives,
including federally qualified health centers, maternal and child
health programs, pediatric and dental public health residencies,
and HIV/AIDS care.
A vast number of the grants made by HRSA are competitive, which
require grant reviewers. An excellent way to learn about
HRSA, its programs and the process that is involved in awarding
grants is to be part of the review process. Your own success in
helping get a future federal grant application funded increases
tremendously after this experience. As private dental practitioners
interfacing more and more with the public sector, this experience
could be very informative, especially for those dentists working
within, volunteering for, or advising federally funded
Grant reviewers help HRSA select the best programs from competitive
groups of applicants. Reviewers are chosen for specific grant
programs, based on their knowledge, education and experience. Grant
review panels are selected to reflect diversity of ethnicity,
gender, experience and geography.
Reviewers use their expertise to objectively evaluate and score
applications against published evaluation criteria. Reviewers gain
understanding of the grant-making process while enjoying the
opportunity to network with colleagues.