AUGUSTA – On Feb. 1, the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Affairs is expected to discuss LD 1666 “An Act to Guarantee Basic Preventive Dental Health Services for Children in Maine.” The bill would require dental insurance companies to pay for at least two fluoride treatments under dental insurance policies sold in Maine. The Maine Dental Association believes that is a goal worth making into law.
We are seeing a very negative trend in dental benefit insurance plans, said Frances Miliano, MDA executive director, in a news release. Most insurance companies were covering two fluoride treatments a year; many are now cutting back to only one. The companies may save money by reducing treatments to one, but the cost to the children in potential dental pain is enormous.
The American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least two fluoride treatments a year, every six months. Children at high risk for dental disease should receive more than two treatments a year, Miliano noted.
MaineCare eligible children get the second application under the MaineCare program because it is seen as therapeutic and worth the cost. Common sense would say insurance plans should also cover the second treatment, she added.
We are hoping the Insurance Committee understands the benefit of providing insurance coverage for prevention such as fluoride varnish. In the long run, it is certainly the most-cost effective approach and the best plan for the consumer.
A shout out to Village Soup for posting this public announcement.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.