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CDA member-dentists: Join our efforts to hold dental benefit plans accountable and improve dental plan coverage

Tell your legislator to support CDA-sponsored bills that address loopholes in dental plan standards; share your firsthand story about impacts on your practice
March 23, 2023
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Quick Summary:
The lack of adequate standards for dental benefit plans is hindering dentists’ ability to carry out treatment plans and patients’ ability to receive the care they need. CDA member-dentists can use their voice in two important ways to support dental plan reform and CDA’s advocacy efforts this year: (1) Use CDA’s sample email to tell your legislator to support two CDA-sponsored bills that address egregious loopholes in dental plan standards and regulations; and (2) Tell us how your patients’ dental benefit plan coverage is disrupting care.

The lack of adequate standards for dental benefit plans is hindering dentists’ ability to carry out treatment plans and patients’ ability to receive the care they need. Existing loopholes can lead to increased out-of-pocket costs for patients and denied coverage, for example, while exemptions from rules and regulations needlessly complicate billing, frustrating dental offices and patients alike.

CDA is committed to holding dental benefit plans accountable and moving toward more meaningful dental coverage and is sponsoring two bills this year that address these issues on behalf of dentists and their patients. These bills were developed based on extensive input from our member-dentists who have shared their experiences with plan denials of coverage and how detrimental the impact is on their practices.

CDA member-dentists can use their voice in two important ways to support dental plan reform and CDA’s advocacy efforts this year: (1) Use CDA’s sample email to tell your legislator to support two CDA-sponsored bills that address egregious loopholes in dental plan standards and regulations; and (2) Tell us how your patients’ dental benefit plan coverage is disrupting their care.

Tell your legislator to support CDA-sponsored bills to reform dental plans

CDA is sponsoring two bills this year — AB 1048 and AB 952 — as part of a comprehensive strategy for dental plan reform. 

The bills address the fact that dental plans still lack key consumer protections and adequate oversight, even as medical plans must comply with federal and state rules that protect patients from unjustified premium rate changes, arbitrary waiting periods before full benefits can be used and denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions, for example.

CDA member-dentists can join the efforts to hold dental benefit plans accountable and require them to provide more meaningful coverage.

Use CDA’s sample email to tell your legislator to support two CDA-sponsored bills that address egregious loopholes in dental plan standards and regulations. Our email is prepopulated for you; all you need to do is fill in a few boxes to confirm your identity and license before submitting. 

Email your state assembly member.

Share your firsthand story about impacts on your practice

CDA wants to hear from all our members who have experienced patients’ care being disrupted by their benefit plan coverage. Your detailed stories will provide us with additional examples that can further strengthen our advocacy efforts.

We are interested in hearing firsthand stories about the impact to your practice, such as:

  • Plans denying claims related to a patient’s preexisting conditions, like a missing tooth or cleft palate.
  • Arbitrary waiting periods (up to a year) after patients buy coverage before benefits can be fully used.
  • Limits on annual coverage maximums (often $1,500-$2,000).
  • Lack of coverage for necessary dental services.
  • Confusion or denials of coverage because a plan is subject to federal ERISA law rather than California law.
  • Other challenges with dental plans that have resulted in denials of coverage or disruptions in treatment. 

If you have a story, please share it using the online form CDA created. 

We may contact you to discuss your story further. While we encourage specific examples, remember that HIPAA rules forbid the sharing of identifying personal information about your patients.

CDA will provide updates on this year’s dental benefit plan advocacy in the online newsroom and weekly member newsletter.

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