AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers may approve a bill that would prohibit dental insurers from imposing waiting periods for new pediatric patients.

The Portland Press Herald reports the bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Heather Sanborn is expected to go before the Legislature in January.

The waiting periods often last around three to six months and kick in when an employee signs up for a new plan or when a company switches dental providers.

The bill is an effort to eliminate the common practice that is private dental plans imposing waiting periods for dental work that is not preventative care and allow children to receive care immediately.

Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, former president of the Maine Dental Association, says he believes Maine would be the first state to eliminate pediatric waiting periods.

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