83% of dentists support medical loss ratios for dental insurers

Eighty-three percent of dentists indicated they support requiring dental plans in their state to spend a percentage of premiums they collect on dental care for subscribers, according to a poll by the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute.

The poll was taken as part of the ADA's monthly "Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry" report for the week of Nov. 14. The ADA surveyed more than 1,000 dentists about their support for medical loss ratios. 

The poll results come after Massachusetts voters greenlighted a first-of-its-kind initiative to reform dental insurer spending in November. A ballot question asked voters whether the state should establish a medical loss ratio that would require dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of premium dollars on dental services or refund the difference to patients.

Here is how dentists responded to two questions about dental insurance reform in the monthly poll:

Question: Do you believe requiring dental plans to spend a set percentage of the premiums they collect on dental care for their subscribers is a necessary reform in your state?

Yes: 83 percent

No: 5 percent

Not sure/No opinion: 12 percent

Q: How likely or unlikely are you to participate in a grassroots effort with other dentists to establish a law setting a medical loss ratio percentage for dental plans in your state?

Very likely or already participating: 42 percent

Somewhat likely: 39 percent 

Somewhat unlikely: 11 percent

Very unlikely: 8 percent

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