Leaders from the American Dental Association and Massachusetts Dental Society are pounding the pavement on Election Day in support of a ballot measure that would help patients get more value from their dental insurance premiums.
Question 2 calls for dental insurance carriers in Massachusetts to establish a medical loss ratio for dentistry. If it passes, the state's carriers would be required to spend at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care rather than on administrative costs, salaries and profits.
"I'm so proud to join the efforts to support meaningful changes in Massachusetts," said ADA President George R. Shepley, D.D.S. "Dental insurance reform is long overdue, and a positive result in this state will be something to build on for the rest of the country. That's why I'm making it a priority to be here in person to raise my voice on Election Day."
Dr. Shepley and others from the ADA and Massachusetts Dental Society will stop at several polling places across Massachusetts to meet with dentists and voters before gathering on election night to watch the results.
"This 'rolling rally' will give us one last opportunity to spread the word to Massachusetts voters about all the benefits of voting 'yes' on Question 2 as they go to the polls," said Andrew S. Tonelli, D.M.D., co-chair of the Massachusetts Dental Society's Government Affairs Committee. "We can only hope that by the end of the day, the public will have shown that they agree that it is time dental insurers be truly accountable to the public their products serve."
If the measure passes, dental insurance carriers that do not meet the minimum standard of spending at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care would have to refund the difference to covered individuals and groups. Currently, Massachusetts has established an 88% medical loss ratio for medical insurance plans, but the state has never had one for dental.
The ADA believes the passage of Question 2 will be a watershed moment for patients and dentistry, setting a precedent that could herald future change for dental insurance across the country. The Association has committed $5.5 million to the Massachusetts Dental Care Providers for Better Dental Benefits campaign.
"I look forward to meeting fellow dentists, dental teams, dental students and voters in the community who have been advocating for what really matters: a future dental benefits system that is beneficial for all," Dr. Shepley said.