Maine is debating the passage of a bill to expand dental insurance coverage beyond dentists to other practitioners licensed by the state, according to The Exception Magazine.
The bill is being discussed today in a working group by Maine Legislature's Insurance and Financial Services Committee. The bill, LD 234, An Act To Expand Access to Oral Health Care, would require dental insurance in Maine to cover procedures performed by independently practicing dental hygienists in addition to dentists. The bill would come into effect next year, and affect all plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2010.
"Last year we passed a bill that allowed dental hygienists to practice as Independent Practice Dental Hygienists (IPDH)," the bill's sponsor, Representative Pat Jones said in her written testimony. "These practitioners can provide independent dental hygiene services: cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, education and referrals and are licensed through the Maine Board of Dental Examiners."
With the addition of this new class of dental care provider, Jones thinks it is necessary that dental insurance covers the cost of using the new services available to the public.
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