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Demonstrating Impact to State Policy Makers Helps to Restore Funding

In 2011, a series of cuts to Minnesota's Medical Assistance dental benefits limited dental care for adults with disabilities who lived in group homes. During this time, several dental clinics in southern Minnesota closed, significantly reducing access to dental care for low-income people.

In the wake of these cuts, in 2012, the Medica Foundation provided a grant to Apple Tree Dental, a nonprofit dental organization that brings dental care to people who otherwise would be without it. The grant supported bringing staff and equipment directly to group homes to provide dental care for people with disabilities. Legislators visited southern Minnesota to observe Apple Tree Dental’s mission in action. 

Realizing that it was far more cost effective to treat adults with special needs where they live, instead of requiring specialized transportation and support staff, the legislature reinstated reimbursement for these specialized dental services in mid-year 2013.

The Medica Foundation awarded a second grant to Apple Tree in 2013 to increase the number of people with disabilities it could serve in group homes, and to expand access to dental care in southern Minnesota. The Medica Foundation is proud to support Apple Tree Dental, a nationally recognized innovator serving people with special needs. 

Apple Tree Dental