A family dentist is considering closing the doors of her family’s practice in the Bay Area after it became clear the insurance companies will not cover dental care for residents.
The dentists’ insurance company refused to cover services such as braces and teeth whitening.
But the Dentists Union of America said the dental care would be covered under the state’s comprehensive dental plan, which would cover $1,700 a month for the first three months.
The union’s executive director, Carol Moore, said the dentists were now considering a plan that would cover only $2,000 a month, leaving the office with no coverage.
“It is extremely disappointing to see a family dentist in the state of California who was working in the best tradition of what the state and the city of Baltimore have been doing,” Ms Moore said.
“We are working with our members to determine what our options are and what our next steps are.”
The Dentists Guild of America, the largest dental union in the US, said its members had been waiting for more than a year for the dental plan to be offered to the dental profession.
“This decision is a blow to dentists across the country and a major blow to the people of California,” said David Shireman, the union’s president.
The state’s dental plan was initially launched in 2016, and has covered dental services such in braces and dentures.
But it has not been rolled out to other states, such as Washington, which has a comprehensive dental program.
Ms Moore described the dental insurance policy as a “death sentence” for dentists in the region, where she has been a patient.
She said she expected some dentists to continue to do work at the office, but that would mean more dentists would lose their insurance.
“In my experience, if you’re going into a situation where you’re a dentist who is going to take on more people, you’re not going to be able to do the job that you’re paid to do,” she said.
The plan would not cover the costs of an appointment, including filling out forms, filling out paperwork and the cost of dental care.
The Dentist Association of California said dental care was the “gold standard” of the practice and that it was willing to provide insurance coverage.
Ms Shiremen said the union had been “outraged” by the decision, and that dentists working in other states were considering similar moves.
“The insurance companies and the states have a responsibility to ensure the dental coverage of the dental practice in those states is adequate,” Ms Shiseman said.