Massachusetts voters pass landmark dental payer reform

Massachusetts voters recently greenlighted a first-of-its-kind initiative to reform dental insurer spending.

A ballot question spearheaded by Mouhab Rizkallah, DDS, asked voters whether the state should establish a medical loss ratio for dental insurers. The medical loss ratio requires dental insurers in the state to spend at least 83 percent of premium dollars on dental services or refund the difference to patients, preventing them from spending that money on executive salaries or administrative costs. It also requires dental insurance plans to disclose financial information annually to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance and authorizes the Massachusetts Division of Insurance commissioner to either approve or disapprove proposed insurance rates.

Several dental organizations supported the measure, including the American Dental Association, the American Association of Endodontists and the Massachusetts Dental Society.

The American Dental Association applauded the approval in a Nov. 9 news release, adding that similar measures are poised for other states. 

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