Earlier this week, state Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, passed a measure out of the House of Representatives to make dental care for children with developmental disabilities more affordable.

“One of the most important things elected officials can do to help reduce the cost of health care is to prioritize the use of preventative medicine,” Rep. Fine said. “This bill reduces costs for insurance companies, providers and customers by treating problems that will grow worse and cost more to treat in the future.”

Rep. Fine’s House Bill 235 requires insurance companies to cover sedation during essential dental procedures for children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Procedures done without sedation can threaten a child’s emotional and physical safety. Many families cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs of sedation, which can reach into the thousands of dollars. As a result, important dental issues are not addressed. Under current law, insurance companies are only required to cover sedation for developmentally disabled children under the age of six.

“I have spoken to many parents who have spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to have their child sedated before the child could be seen by a dentist,” Rep. Fine added. “Covering dental sedation for children with developmental disabilities not only helps parents afford dental care, but  helps maintain the children’s overall health.”

House Bill 235 was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives and now moves to the Senate for further consideration.