How the Massachusetts ballot measure could spark dental payer reform nationwide

Several states could begin efforts to implement medical loss ratios for dental payers after Massachusetts signed its own into law in December. 

Six things to know: 

1. In November, Massachusetts voters greenlighted the first-of-its-kind initiative, which requires dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of premium dollars on dental services or refund the difference to patients, among other requirements. 

2. The American Dental Association said Dec. 28 that it is working with other state organizations in support of similar measures.

3. Mouhab Rizkallah, DDS, who spearheaded the Massachusetts ballot initiative, said he plans to push for a medical loss ratio in dentistry at the federal level to match the medical industry.

4. Similar initiatives are being pursued in Connecticut, Nevada and Oklahoma. Nevada State Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert recently filed a bill that would require dental insurers in the state to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care.

5. The ADA said it expects similar bills to be filed in about 20 states.

6. In a recent poll of more than 1,000 dentists by the American Dental Association, 83 percent of dentists indicated their support for requiring dental plans in their state to spend a percentage of premiums they collect on dental care for subscribers.

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