Massachusetts proposes spending controls for dental insurers: 4 notes

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a proposal to impose spending barriers on private dental insurers, the Gloucester Daily Times reported March 22. 

Four notes: 

1. The proposal would require insurers to spend at least 83 percent of revenues on dental expenses and quality improvements instead of administrative costs.

2. Supporters say the proposal would align dental insurance requirements with those of medical insurers, while insurers said the proposal would lead to increased costs for patients and providers. 

3. Jason Aluia, director of government and external affairs with the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, said the proposal could lead to low-income individuals not getting care because of increased premiums. He added that it would cut the number of plans available, because those that will not be able to meet the requirements won't be operable in the state. 

4. The state's Joint Committee on Health Care Financing reviewed the proposal March 21. Lawmakers have until May 4 to take action on the proposal, otherwise supporters must submit more than 13,000 signatures by July 6 to place the proposal on the ballot. If approved, the requirements would take effect in 2023.

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