Maine might expand Medicaid coverage for dental

Across the country, leaders are realizing that extending Medicaid coverage for dental services is a cost saver in the long run.

A recent example in the state of Maine illustrates that. There, the statewide Chamber of Commerce is urging passage of a bill that would extend Medicaid coverage to pregnant women for dental services. Maine is one of 10 states without this provision.

The stereotype of business opposing enlarging government coverage is a myth, at least in Maine. An editorial in Bangor Daily News tells the story.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce took the unusual step of testifying in favor of LD 474. “As a matter of course, the Maine State Chamber rarely, if ever, supports adding mandates on private insurers or on the state’s MaineCare Program,” Peter Gore, vice president of advocacy and government relations, wrote to members of the Committee on Health and Human Services in April. “However, this is one of those instances in which a modest investment today can lead to greater savings, better health outcomes and a more productive workforce in the years ahead.”

As governments look at the big pictures, more and more of them decide dental care coverage for adults and children is best for everyone.