Organized dentistry thanks legislators for introducing noncovered services bills

DOC Access Act would foster insurance competition, benefit consumers, bring balance to contract negotiations


A coalition of a dozen dental organizations led by the ADA thanked legislators May 15 for introducing bills in the Senate and House that would prohibit noncovered services provisions in dental and vision plans.

The Dental and Optometric Care Access Act, S. 1424 and H.R.1385, would foster insurance competition, benefit consumers and bring balance to contract negotiations.

“It is unreasonable for dental plans to set fees for services in which the plans have no financial liability, and that is why 45 states have enacted laws that limit interference with the doctor-patient relationship when the doctor delivers services insurers do not cover. However, a federal effort is needed as many dental plans are regulated on the federal rather than state level,” the letters said.

The bipartisan legislation, the letters said, “will provide greater access to high-quality care by helping to curb anti-patient and anti-competitive practices of dental insurance plans. This legislation is crucial to bring needed balance to contract negotiations between providers, who are often small business owners, and large dental insurance companies. Passage … would balance the scales and bring equity to insurer/provider contracting at the federal level.”

The letters were signed by the ADA, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association of Endodontists, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American College of Prosthodontics, American Dental Education Association, American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and American Student Dental Association.

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