To the editor:
Massachusetts patients are not getting enough out of their dental insurance premiums. Studies show that 1 in 4 Massachusetts residents do not have dental insurance and 16.6% have avoided necessary dental work because they could not afford it. If you believe, as I do, that this is unacceptable: I urge you to join me in voting YES on Question 2.
Question 2, the Dental Ballot Question, would require dental insurers to spend at least 83% of patient dental premiums on actual patient care, similar to laws that already exist for medical insurance. Why is this needed? Under the current law without this requirement, the biggest dental insurer in the state — a “not for profit” company — spends closer to 60% of patient premiums on dental care, and the rest goes to administrative costs like “gifts” to their parent company and robust executive compensation.
A YES vote on Question 2 would not only guarantee value for patients, but also protects against artificially high premium increases. This initiative prohibits punitive premium increases above the consumer index, and enhances reporting requirements so the legislature and regulators have accurate information when considering future adjustments to the law.
In the final analysis, Question 2 is about protecting Massachusetts patients by choosing patient health over corporate wealth. Based on the feedback I’ve heard in our community and my own analysis of the proposal, we can create fair dental insurance in Massachusetts by voting YES on Question 2.
Sen. Nick Collins
Sen. Collins represents the First Suffolk District in the Massachusetts Senate which includes the South Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston.