MA Ballot Question 2, Dental Insurance Explained – NBC Boston

Question 2 on Massachusetts’ 2022 general election ballots would compel dental insurers to spend more of patients’ money on their own care.

Unlike with medical insurance, there is currently no minimum threshold for dental care written in state law. The proposal would require at least 83% of revenue from the premiums that patients pay to be spent on patient care or provide refunds.

The sweeping reform would change the accounting world of the dental insurance industry nationwide, according to Evan Horowitz, executive director of Tufts University’s Center for State Policy Analysis. Massachusetts would be the first state in the country to regulate dental insurance premiums if the ballot question passes on Nov. 8.

“The big question behind this ballot initiative is, are they paying out enough relative to the amount they’re taking in,” Horowitz said of insurers on NBC10 Boston’s political podcast, “Countdown to Decision 2022.”

For more on this and other issues, listen to our election podcast, “Countdown to Decision 2022.”

Detractors argue that the proposed change would hurt consumers, not benefit them, because the cost of insurance premiums would rise. But proponents point to a section of the proposed law that specifically bars increases above the consumer price index without state approval.

Question 2 in Massachusetts involves the regulation of dental insurance.

Ultimately, Horowitz said, the measure wouldn’t save patients much money, if any.

“If you’re looking at it and thinking, ‘Well, what’s in it for me as a patient?’ I think the short answer is, not much,” Horowitz said. “It’s really a kind of inter-industry fight and the likelihood of big changes for patient care are very, very small.”

The effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Mouhab Rizkallah, an orthodontist who has spent over $1 million on the initiative, campaign finance records show. Dozens of other dentists have since contributed to the cause. The opposition is being primarily funded by Boston-based nonprofit Delta Dental, one of the state’s major insurers, as well as a few others.


Massachusetts Secretary of State

The wording of Ballot Question 2 as it appears on Massachusetts voters’ 2022 general election ballots.

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