Before dropping off a final batch of voter signatures required to make the ballot, dentists, patients and advocates backing the campaign to impose new limits on insurer spending pitched the measure as a consumer protection mechanism.
While opponents contend the proposal would in fact increase costs, supporters argued that requiring dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of their dollars on patient care and improvements would more closely align restrictions on dental plans with those that health plans already face.
“A yes vote would help fix a broken system in which insurance companies benefit from denying claims and limiting coverage,” Morad said.
The ballot question would require dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of their dollars on “dental expenses and quality improvements, as opposed to administrative expenses,” according to its text. Carriers with medical loss ratios – a term that refers to the distribution of spending on claims and care – below 83 percent would be required to refund members for excess premiums.
Backers say in
“We do not expect dental insurance companies to waste our premiums by overpaying officers, having giant, wasteful commissions, sneaking payments to affiliates or gifts to parent companies that just add another layer of waste,” Kumar said. “Our insurance payments are not meant to be gifts to dental insurance companies. They are meant to help families like mine and yours.”
Morad said several industry groups representing practitioners – including the
The question, if approved by voters, would be the first law of its kind in the country, according to opponents.
“The proponents of this ballot question are not being straight with the voters,” the committee said in a statement. “What they aren’t telling you is that their anti-consumer proposal will increase costs for
A new study conducted by
Increasing claims, the report said, could require adding benefits “beyond what is competitively offered and/or beyond what consumers desire or want to pay for – or by increasing reimbursement to providers.”
The report and opponents warned that passage of the ballot question could spur some dental insurers to stop operating in
“With consumer prices soaring to all-time highs, the Commonwealth doesn’t need this added regulation that will only increase costs and decrease choice for patients across the state,” the opposition committee said.