Joined by veterans and veteran’s advocates earlier today, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino promoted the “Smiling on America’s Heroes,” a discount dental and eye care program that is available to veterans and their dependents. Also endorsing it was State Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, and Assemblyman Bob Castelli, R-Goldens Bridge.
The program costs $8.95 a month, or $85.99 a year, for veterans and their families and is operated by Careington, Inc. The discount plan promises a savings of up to 70 percent on dental work, including savings of 40 percent for routine procedures and unlimited cleanings, as well as discounts ranging from 15 to 35 percent for eye care, throughout a network of 94,000 providers nationwide, according to the company.
Since the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not cover all health care costs, particularly dental and eye care, Astorino called it “an essential supplement.” He compared it to an AARP membership and said it will not cost taxpayers any money.
“It’s really fitting that we are able to provide them with another option,” Astorino said. “We’re trying to set an example that government can’t always provide everything.”
The New York State Association of Counties has endorsed the program and is encouraging county veteran service agencies throughout the state to market the program to veterans and returning service members.
Because dental and vision insurance are sometimes luxuries beyond reach for young working families, Castelli said, “It is my sincere hope that this program will be heavily marketed to fulfill this need an underserved, and over-deserving population to whom we owe a debt that can never be fully repaid.”
The program also includes dependent care services to help veterans with referrals for elder care, child care, and care for people with disabilities. For more information on the program, visit www.smilingonamericasheroes.com.