Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talks with reporters as she walks to a vote on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Washington. Credit: Alex Brandon / AP

BANGOR, Maine — Maine’s Republican senator is getting behind a push to make sure treatments for people born with congenital birth defects are covered by health insurance.

Sen. Susan Collins said the proposal, which she has cosponsored, would make sure plans cover “medically necessary services related to a patient’s anomaly or birth defect, including any serious dental and oral-related procedures that are necessary to maintain health and overall function.” Collins said one Maine family received a bill for almost $100,000 for their daughter’s dental procedures, and she wants to prevent those kinds of cost burdens in the future.

Collins’ office said about four percent of U.S. children are born with congenital anomalies or birth defects that affect their lives. Many suffer from oral problems such as a cleft lip or palate. Congenital anomalies and birth defects can also cause problems for vision and hearing as well as skeletal defects.

The proposal is co-sponsored by a large group of bipartisan senators.