MaineCare will cover dental care starting on Friday

More than 20,000 Mainers will get access to dental care insurance coverage starting Friday.All MaineCare members age 21 or older will automatically be enrolled in the new benefit. MaineCare will cover preventative, restorative and diagnostic care, officials said.The move will also increase reimbursement rates for dental providers.Together, the coverage expansion and rate initiatives represent an estimated $45 million investment in oral health, more than doubling MaineCare’s current investment.Maine has about 55 dentists per 100,000 residents, which is below the national average of about 61 and well below New England states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut.The change is the result of a bill proposed by Democratic House Speaker Ryan Fecteau and approved by the Maine Legislature. Members of the medical industry in the state said the expansion of dental coverage will be especially important for residents of rural Maine, who often lack access to care.The expansion of dental care is “a game-changer for oral health equity” in the state, said Bryan Wyatt of the Maine Primary Care Association.”Dental health is an important part of overall health,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “Providing preventive and routine dental care will not only improve the health and wellness of hundreds of thousands of Maine people, but it will also save money in the long run by preventing the need for expensive emergency care. I am glad to have worked with the Legislature to expand dental care for Maine people.”

More than 20,000 Mainers will get access to dental care insurance coverage starting Friday.

All MaineCare members age 21 or older will automatically be enrolled in the new benefit. MaineCare will cover preventative, restorative and diagnostic care, officials said.

The move will also increase reimbursement rates for dental providers.

Together, the coverage expansion and rate initiatives represent an estimated $45 million investment in oral health, more than doubling MaineCare’s current investment.

Maine has about 55 dentists per 100,000 residents, which is below the national average of about 61 and well below New England states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The change is the result of a bill proposed by Democratic House Speaker Ryan Fecteau and approved by the Maine Legislature. Members of the medical industry in the state said the expansion of dental coverage will be especially important for residents of rural Maine, who often lack access to care.

The expansion of dental care is “a game-changer for oral health equity” in the state, said Bryan Wyatt of the Maine Primary Care Association.

“Dental health is an important part of overall health,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “Providing preventive and routine dental care will not only improve the health and wellness of hundreds of thousands of Maine people, but it will also save money in the long run by preventing the need for expensive emergency care. I am glad to have worked with the Legislature to expand dental care for Maine people.”

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