ADEA State Update

States Continue to Discuss Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Dentists

(State Policy, Education, Financial Aid, Higher Education) Permanent link   All Posts

LoanForgiveLaptopAs state legislatures begin to look for ways to increase the number of dental professionals willing to serve in rural and underserved areas in their states, the focus once again is shifting to loan forgiveness programs for dentists.

 

Alabama

In her 2018 State of the State Address, Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) stated, “I am also proposing funding for loan repayment programs for dentists and physician assistants who agree to work in underserved areas of Alabama. Many of Alabama’s citizens live in rural areas, and we must be attentive to their needs and ensure they have the same access to quality health care as those in urban areas.”

 

Florida

The Florida Health Quality Subcommittee unanimously passed committee substitute (CS)/HB 369 on Jan. 24. CS/HB 369 creates the Dental Student Loan Repayment Program within the Florida Department of Health (DOH). The program is subject to funds being appropriated and is intended to promote access to dental care in medically underserved populations by increasing the number of dentists practicing in dental health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas.

The bill authorizes DOH to award up to $50,000 per year for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years. The bill requires DOH to limit the number of new dentists participating in the program to no more than 10 per fiscal year. It also requires DOH to adopt rules to administer the program and provides an effective date of July 1, 2018.  

The Florida House of Representatives Staff Analysis of the CS uses several reports developed by ADEA staff to advance the need for a loan forgiveness program in the state. Specifically, the analysis references ADEA’s State and Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs chart (November 2016) as well as the March 2013 Report of the ADEA Presidential Task Force on the Cost of Higher Education and Student Borrowing.

For additional information on student loan debt, please visit the ADEA Snapshot on Dental Education, 2017-18 or review the State and Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs chart updated in November 2017.

Duggan Dental