HB19-1038 (Duran & Lontine/Ginal & Story) Dental Services for Pregnant Women on Children’s Basic Health Plan Plus
Currently, Medicaid enrollees have a dental benefit, as do children who are enrolled in Children’s Basic Health Plan Plus (CHP+). However, pregnant women receiving health insurance through CHP+ do not have coverage for oral health services. This bill requires CHP+ to provide a dental benefit all eligible enrollees, including pregnant women.
The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill because for a small cost, Colorado can add dental benefits for approximately 900 pregnant women a year, improving their health, their pregnancy outcomes, and the health of the new baby. Lack of dental insurance is a leading reason why pregnant women in Colorado do not seek oral health care during their pregnancy. Periodontal disease in pregnant women has been linked to adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth and low newborn birth weights. A mother’s prenatal oral health also has lifelong effects on her child’s oral health. The bacteria associated with poor oral health can pass from mother to baby with the potential to cause dental caries in infancy and early childhood. Tooth decay remains the most common chronic condition in childhood and adolescence. It can lead to poor performance in school and increased absences.
Assigned to the House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.