By Daylina Miller, WUSF News
Dentists burdened by high student loan debt may soon get some relief.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 843 that — among other things — revives a defunct loan repayment program for dentists who see low-income patients.
“This is a way that we can provide care in those communities that are underserved, be able to reach Floridians who don’t have access to a dentist, and be able to have them be a Medicaid provider,” said Jolene Paramore, president of the Florida Dental Association.
“We want them to also establish in those communities because there’ll be jobs created from the dental team. And more importantly, to get care to those individuals who need help, (and) reduce emergency department visits.”
Dentists from public schools may graduate with $250,000 to $300,000 in loans. Private schools can run up to $500,000. High payments and low Medicaid reimbursement rates make it hard for them to practice in underserved areas.
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