AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A proposal in Maine would stop insurance companies from mandating waiting periods between children's dental treatments.

Democratic State Sen. Heather Sanborn of Portland was expected to introduce the new rule for a public hearing on Tuesday. Sanborn said the proposal is about making sure children can receive dental treatment when they need it.

The change would “save young people from pain and costly procedures that would have been avoided with timely intervention from a dentist,” Sanborn said.

Some dental insurance plans include waiting periods of up to a year after enrollment before the insurer will cover dental treatments, Sanborn said.

Dental care in Maine is complicated by a longstanding shortage of dentists in the state, especially in rural areas.

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