EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, passed a bill Wednesday that would allow qualified dental hygienists to provide dental care to more uninsured or lower- income Illinoisans.
“With specialists like dentists in short supply compared to demand and many Illinoisans struggling financially or lacking access to dental insurance, it is necessary for us to do more to ensure that critical services like basic dental care are available to everyone,” Stuart said. “Allowing more hygienists to provide basic dental care under supervisory contracts with dentists will help more people obtain care.”
Currently, dentists in Illinois may enter supervisory contracts with up to two dental hygienists. These contracts enable those hygienists to provide basic dental care to Illinoisans who are both uninsured and who earn no more than 200% of the federal poverty level. Stuart’s House Bill 2267 would increase the number of hygienists a dentist may contract with from two to four and would expand the population to whom contracted hygienists may provide care to all those who are uninsured or—instead of ‘and’—who earn no more than 300%—up from 200%—of the federal poverty level.
“Our first priority when basic services are in short supply needs to be, first, getting those services in place,” Stuart said. “Dental hygienists are skilled professionals who are capable of alleviating shortages of dental providers in underserved communities. Families need dental care, and getting it to them is the right thing to do.”
Stuart’s office is reachable at 618-365-6650 or email@example.com.