There is an important vote on dental insurance reform happening in Massachusetts on November 8th that could have a rippling effect across the US. Ballot referendum Question 2 would make Massachusetts the only state in the country to require dental insurers to spend a set percentage of premiums on patient care, with the remaining percentage on administrative cost (also known as Medical Loss Ratio). However, this ballot initiative may also have consequences within Texas.
How This Could Impact You
- A win in Massachusetts could set the stage for future similar dental insurance reforms across the country, in Texas, and at the national level with federal legislation to impact plans regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Act (ERISA).
- More transparency and accountability will help to ensure premium dollars are going to patient care (i.e., more covered procedures, increased reimbursements, patient refunds, etc.) instead of additional company revenues or executive salaries.
Given such and after careful and deliberate consideration, your TDA Board of Directors approved financial support to the statewide ballot initiative in Massachusetts.
Why Your Board Chose to Give
- This is a patient-first effort and support from the TDA sends a strong message to dental insurance companies—dentists stand together in support of directing premium dollars paid to dental care.
- In the next Texas legislative session (Jan. 2023), the TDA will file legislation to address retroactive denials, network leasing, and disallow clauses in dental insurance contracts. We are keenly aware that dental insurance is one of the most difficult and frustrating issues for our members and we are always seeking ways to combat unfair insurance practices; both inside and outside our state.
- The American Dental Association, in conjunction with 43 other state dental associations and hundreds of individual members, have already given to this cause.
- This initiative has begun to strengthen our own position with third party payers in Texas.
With increasing administrative burdens and decreasing reimbursements, your Texas Dental Association continues to work hard on your behalf to oppose undue influence or intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship. Texas dentists must remain unified as members of the TDA to keep our voice strong. Thank you for being a member; and to those who have not joined or renewed yet, please join and work alongside us as we continue to protect the profession and the patients we serve. You are needed now more than ever.
Duc "Duke" M. Ho, DDS FAGD