Restoring Health and a Smile Through Dental Care

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Peter and Jacqueline Tannenbaum, Monroe County

Peter grinds his teeth at night with such force that many of them were in danger of breaking off.  His dentist said he needed four crowns or he would lose the teeth permanently, but his Medicaid dental plan would not cover them. 

Peter’s CHA Advocate at Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) realized that the dental plan had denied the claim without considering whether it might qualify for an exception – which it did.  The CHA Advocate helped obtain a letter from the dentist saying that the treatment was medically necessary.  The plan reversed its decision, granting prior authorization and full coverage for the crowns.

Peter’s dental issues came at stressful time. His wife had contracted a rare form of ovarian cancer and he had taken time off from work to care for her. With no job and limited resources, Peter could not have paid out-of-pocket for the crowns.

“It is not easy for me to accept help from anyone, especially the government, when I spent my entire life supporting myself and my family. I never expected to turn to an organization like LawNY but when I did they responded with kindness, humanity, and expert help.  I pray that such organizations and the wonderful people that work for them continue to obtain funding in order to help people who have no other options.  I am forever in debt to LawNY who answered the call and helped a fellow human being in distress.”