Trends and Insights
With a population around six million, Maryland is widely known for its excellent seafood and warm weather. Research from the Health Policy Institute indicated the following oral health trends among residents of the state with respect to the overall condition of their mouths and teeth.
- 35 percent said their mouth and teeth were in excellent condition
- 40 percent said their mouth and teeth were in good condition
- 17 percent said their mouth and teeth were in fair condition
- 9 percent said their mouth and teeth were in poor condition
For Marylanders with low household incomes, 19 percent said their mouth and teeth were in fair condition and 18 percent indicated the condition was poor.
These trends emphasize the need for quality dental coverage in order to promote improved oral health. But what are dental plans like in Maryland?
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Brief Review of Maryland Dental Plans
A review of 20 different dental plans from seven insurers in Maryland found the average premium was $34.41 within the state for an individual applicant. The least expensive option was one fourth the average cost and most expensive was about twice the average cost. Obviously, prices further increase for family plans with multiple enrollees.
The below table illustrates the differences in deductibles found among the 20 plans. All deductibles in the table apply to individual enrollees, not family plans.
|Deductible Amount*||Number of Plans in Study||Percentage of Plans in Study|
|* Deductibles may have restrictions such as the use of in-network dentists|
In some plans the deductible might be waived for preventive services or may have a deductible that is paid a single time during the entire period of enrollment, even if a person stays within the same plan for many years. Some plans with orthodontic coverage had a secondary deductible that pertained to services such as braces, palatal expanders, and retainers.
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Oral Health Resources
We've pulled together information to help you find resources in your state to help you maintain your oral health.
The Maryland State Dental Association, founded in 1883, is a professional organization seeking to protect the public's oral health as well as the dentistry profession. The MSDA provides continuing education resources to dentists and other dental professionals. The MSDA also has patient advocacy programs as well as support for charitable dental programs through its foundation.
This document, published by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, helps Maryland residents (whether adults, children, special needs patients, caregivers, or advocates) with finding affordable dental care services in the state and nearby areas.
The Maryland Dental Association provides this online list of dental care options available at reduced cost or free, depending on the provider and the patient’s qualifications. Options include Missions of Mercy, a project where volunteer dentists and dental staff perform free, two-day dental clinics at locations around Maryland. There is also Maryland Healthy Smiles. This program provides dental treatment for:
- Children under the age of 21
- Former foster care recipients under the age of 26
- Pregnant women 21 years of age and older
- Adults enrolled in the Rare and Expensive Case Management (REM) program.
There is also a Healthy Smiles pilot program serving adults between the ages of 21 & 64 who receive full Medicaid and Medicare benefits.
Finally there is the Maryland Foundation of Dentistry. This organization facilitates free oral health care donated by dental professionals for Maryland adults with intellectual, physical, or developmental disabilities and who are unable to afford dental care.