Bill proposed to eliminate dental insurance waiting periods for kids

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Members from the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services met Tuesday to discuss an issue brought up by pediatric dentists around the state.

Many of them say they've had children who have been delayed dental care because of insurance waiting periods.

A new proposed bill (LD 1975) would abolish insurance waiting periods for anyone under the age of 19.

Jonathan Shenkin is a pediatric dentist in Augusta. He brought the idea to state Senator Heather Sanborn after seeing the effects of waiting periods.

"The bill came about because of an incident in my office, one day where we had three patients that had wait periods and were in pain. And the parents couldn't afford dental care at that time. They're paying a premium for their dental insurance. And the cost of the dental care was too much, that they just couldn't afford to get timely treatment for their children."

One exception would be for orthodontic care.