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Lawmakers propose free dental insurance for veterans in New York

Visiting the dentist without insurance can quickly drain a bank account.

Veteran Stephen McCloskey found out the hard way. Currently working on his degree, the Department of Veterans Affairs covers McCloskey’s dental when he’s in school but not during breaks.

“I just came out of pocket almost $1,000 in dental fees for me and my family,” he said.

In fact, many veterans have no dental coverage. Advocates said the VA only provides dental insurance to students, people deemed 100 percent disabled, or at least 70 percent disabled and unemployable.

“Most veterans when they get out, they’re low middle class, trying to get back into the workforce and they struggle in that just in itself so part of that struggle is financial and if they’re dealing with $1,000 dental bill, that financial is either their gas or their electric or water or anything that ends up or food on the table,” McCloskey said.

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