House: Maryland Medical Assistance Program – Former Foster Care Adolescents – Dental Care

HB 858, Support

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

HB 858 would include dental care in the provision of health care services for former foster care adolescents through the Maryland Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP).

The Catholic Church has consistently supported legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all –including dental care. According to the Center for Disease Control  (CDC), there were 2.3 million dental-related emergency department visits from 2009 to 2010 and the number was highest among adults aged 18–44 years. There is a crucial need for regular dental care to promote the general health and well-being for former foster care adolescents. Furthermore, investing in regular dental care for former foster care adolescents through MMAP would decrease the occurrence and costs of emergency room visits for dental issues.

The Conference appreciates your consideration and urges your favorable support of HB 858.