Filling in the Dental Gap

Through collaboration with Medical Teams International, ASUCC has made arrangements for the dental van to be on campus each term to help struggling college students meet their dental needs. The dental van has scheduled the next visit to UCC on Thursday, May 17, 2012.

UCC staff member, Ruby Shea who is closely involved in coordinating the dental van visits, says the van will come twice this month.

Students who want to take advantage of the dental vans visit should first contact Marjan Coester in the student center to see if they qualify. Then they will need to see Ruby Shea to fill out an application and to give a brief overview of the needs that require satisfaction during the planned visit.

Mobile dental units are limited on space, so the dental van will only perform certain services such as dental cleaning and restoration. Students with widespread dental issues will only be able to receive treatment in one quadrant of their teeth per visit.

A recent student survey of UCC students conducted by The Mainstream revealed that over 50 percent of students currently enrolled may be living without any type of health insurance of their own. According to the same survey, 80 percent of the students queried said at times they did not know where to find health care assistance when they were in need.

“I have spoken to many students in need of either medical or dental attention who don’t have any options, and they weren’t aware of the dental van,” explained UCC instructor Melinda Benton.

ASUCC approved the funding of the dental van, pulling necessary funds from the student activities fund.

The van is not the only help available. To those who qualify as low income, government programs such as the Family Health Insurance Assistance Program offer reimbursement of up to 80 percent on health care premiums for low income households.

Another option for medical coverage is possible for people who were covered by a health care plan by a previous employer. The Federal COBRA act allows you to keep your health care insurance for 12 months by paying the same price for premiums out of your own pocket. Under the Affordable Care Act, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. More assistance can be found from the Healthy Kids program, where children under nineteen years who do not have medical coverage can be covered for free or at a low cost.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.