5 legislative moves affecting dentistry by state

Five states have introduced or advanced bills that would affect how dentistry is practiced, including expanding coverage, establishing accountability for insurers and authorizing dental therapy. 

Here are summaries of each bill: 


Members of the Indiana Senate presented SB 132, which establishes accountability for dental insurers in the state. The bill prevents insurers from setting fees for dental services that are not covered under an insurance plan, limits third-party access to provider network contracts, and bars companies from retaliating if dental providers choose to not participate in third-party access.


Two Ohio legislators introduced a bill that would prevent dental patients from being denied Medicaid coverage solely because of their age. 


Maryland legislators introduced several bills and have more planned to improve dental care in the state. House Bill 103 would require the Maryland Department of Health to study the state's ability to cover more dental services under the state’s dental plan for low-income residents. Another bill, House Bill 167, would require school aged-children to have a "certificate of dental health" in order to be enrolled in a Maryland public school.


The Pennsylvania House of Representatives advanced a bill that would restore dental coverage under the state's Medicaid program. House Bill 1417 would expand services that were cut from the state program in 2011, including root canals, periodontal disease treatments, emergency exams and other services.


The Wisconsin Senate and State Assembly passed a four-bill package aimed at improving and expanding access to oral healthcare in the state. The bills cover dental therapist licensure, the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Interstate Compact and dental education.

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