On Feb. 7,
the Maryland Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on SB 284. The bill, sponsored by
Sen. Thomas Middleton (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and
Sen. Guy Guzzone, Majority Whip (D-MD), would require the Maryland Medical
Assistance Program to provide limited dental coverage for certain adults
beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. The bill would also require the Maryland Department
of Health (MDH), in consultation with certain stakeholders, to study and
recommend ways to structure adult dental coverage to balance fiscal constraints
with the dental needs of enrollees. In addition, the bill would require the MDH
to report to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before Jan. 1, 2019.
The bill is currently pending in the Finance Committee.
Also of note, on Jan. 24,
the Maryland Dental Action Coalition released its report, Financial Impact of Emergency Department Visits by Adults for Dental
Conditions in Maryland. The report found that in fiscal year
2016, Maryland adults made 42,327 emergency department visits for chronic
dental conditions, with an average charge of $537 per visit, for a total cost of