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AHCCCS Coverage for pregnant moms passes House Health Committee


One of our major initiatives this year, embodied in HB2442, would create $1,000 annual dental benefit for pregnant mothers under AHCCCS. The bill passed the House Health Committee on a 9-0 vote on Thursday.

Rep. Kelli Butler (D-28) introduced the bill along with 30 bipartisan co-sponsors from both the House and Senate, more than one third of the entire State Legislature.

Executive Director Earle led off the testimony, and introduced ASDOH dental student Erik Klintmalm, who had conducted the preliminary research to support the initiative as part of his MPH practicum. This research has been used by the AzDA Council on Government Affairs and the State Oral Health Coalition to develop a Fact Sheet on the topic.

A special thanks goes out to AzDA member and periodontist Dr. Jeremiah Whetman, who stepped up on short notice to share insight on the science of bacteria transmission and the implications for health pregnancies.

After short period of questions and answers, the Bill passed unanimously.

It is also assigned to the Appropriations Committee, where it has to compete with a number of other bills each with their own funding issues. Ultimately, its inclusion in this year's budget will be a challenge. At the very least, we have begun discussions to shine light on this serious gap in coverage in our AHCCCS system, with an eye toward future inclusion as a benefit for both others and their children.