ROBERT P. ASTORINO
WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Ned McCormack, Communications Director (914) 995-2932
Contact: Jessica Proud (914) 995-2950
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2011
ASTORINO ANNOUNCES “SMILING ON AMERICA’S HEROES” PROGRAM FOR WESTCHESTER VETERANS
Discount Dental and Vision Coverage Offered for Veterans and Their Families
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, joined by veterans and veteran’s advocates, today announced the launch of “Smiling on America’s Heroes,” a discount dental and eye care program available to Westchester veterans and their dependents. State Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Bob Castelli joined Astorino at the announcement.
“Ensuring our veterans have access to quality and affordable health care is a top priority,” Astorino said. “Particularly in these difficult economic times, many of our veterans struggle to get the care they need. This discount program will provide essential dental and eye care that’s not currently covered by the VA, with no cost to taxpayers. Both our aging veteran population and the young men and women just returning home can greatly benefit from the services provided by this program.”
Senator Greg Ball thanked County Executive Astorino and Careington, Inc. for bringing the program to Westchester County. “Having served in the military, I know all too well the many men and women that bravely served our country, yet cannot get the health care they need when they return home,” said Ball. “’Smiling on America’s Heroes’ will lend a helping hand to veterans and their families to get the care they need and deserve.”
Assemblyman Castelli added, “To qualify for VA dental and vision benefits, the VA requires that those returning from overseas and those who have served their nation faithfully in the great wars of the last century must have either a service-connected dental or vision issue, or be 80% disabled. It is an unfortunate reality that in these tough times, dental and vision insurance are sometimes luxuries beyond reach for young working families, and our aging veteran populations who do not meet those requirements. 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 New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) has endorsed the program and is encouraging county veteran service agencies throughout the state to market the program to veterans and returning service members.
“We are proud to partner with County Executive Astorino to bring this program to Westchester County,” said Bruce Bernstein, Assistant Vice President, Global Sales, Careington International. “The brave men and women that served our country deserve quality dental and vision benefits at an affordable cost. This program will provide huge savings for our veterans and their families. We encourage all of Westchester’s service men and women to take advantage of the program.”
“I applaud County Executive Astorino for taking the lead on this outstanding program for veterans,” said veteran and Westchester County Legislator Jim Maisano. “I run into veterans all the time in my district that really need discounts for health care services like dental and vision. Veterans have served our nation proudly and made sacrifices for all of us, and this is a nice way to say thank you.”
Careington, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest dental insurance providers. The discount plan promises its members 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, for only $8.95 a month.
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.