In Tuesday’s election, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure (Question 2) that will require Massachusetts dental plans to spend at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care rather than administrative overhead costs and executive compensation.
Question 2 received 71% of the vote as of Nov. 9 and will make Massachusetts the first state in the country to enact such a policy, also known as a medical loss ratio requirement. If dental insurance companies spend less than 83% of patient premiums on actual dental care, they must refund the difference to covered individuals and groups.
The decisive win comes despite dental insurers spending several million dollars to defeat Question 2.
CDA endorsed the measure and contributed $75,000 to a joint campaign committee of the Massachusetts Dental Society and American Dental Association, joining most other state dental associations in making a financial contribution to the campaign.
The passage of Question 2 sets an important precedent and can drive momentum for other states to pursue important consumer protections for dental patients.
“We are so encouraged to see voters support a measure like this,” said CDA President Dr. Ariane Terlet. “It shows that the public can see through the dental plan industry’s arguments and that people want better consumer protections, transparency and accountability in how dental plans are spending patient premiums. We all need to keep fighting for that.”
CDA has a long history on this topic, as detailed in an article published last month. We will be continuing our work to address benefit design standards for dental plans as part of our long-term goal of increasing the value and transparency of dental plans.