~Submitted by Dr. Jeffrey Karen
I am a practicing pediatric dentist and resident of Bedford for over 15 years. For the first time, we have a ballot question that will benefit you and your families dental care in the future.
Question 2 is simple – it requires dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of patient premiums on dental care. This will assure that patient dollars are spent on patient care, instead of on executive compensation, corporate profits, and administrative costs. Massachusetts already has a law in place that requires your health insurance plan to spend 88% on your medical care or refund the difference. Dental insurance plans are currently allowed to keep the extra money as profit for themselves.
By voting yes on Question 2, dental insurance plans that don’t meet the requirement of spending at least 83% of patient premium dollars on patient care will have to refund the difference to covered individuals and groups.
Question 2 will require dental insurance companies to disclose how they are spending patient premiums to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance – something that dental insurance companies are currently not required to do. Greater transparency will ensure patients get the most value for premiums paid.
Contrary to the claims of the large insurance companies opposed to this initiative, Question 2 specifically prevents dental insurance premium increases above the consumer price index without approval by the state of Massachusetts. It also requires the state to block premium increases deemed to be excessive or unreasonable. Opponents to this ballot question are trying to scare consumers by threatening a 30% increase in premiums, which they cannot do without approval from the Division of Insurance.
For your own peace of mind also look at who is endorsing and supporting voting yes on Question 2. The American Dental Association and almost every other state dental society, besides numerous other health organizations support voting yes on question 2. This is a win for you and your family’s dental health!
Let’s make sure patient dollars are spent on patient care. Vote YES on Question 2!