Building on Success
Dental Insurance Reform – as embodied in the Dental Bill of Rights - puts power back in the hands of the patient through consumer protection laws that ensure more reliability and predictability, so patients can stop wasting money on insurance products that provide inadequate coverage.
Fortunately, Connecticut has begun to make the policy changes that are needed and necessary. The CSDA has been successful in convincing the legislature to pass 2 out of 3 components of the National Council of Insurance Legislators Transparency in Dental Benefits Contracting Model Act: Network Leasing, in 2021, and Virtual Credit Card, in 2018.
It is a solid start. But although Connecticut legislators have taken the first steps, there are important components that remain undone. And popular support for the Dental Bill of Rights has never been higher – in the most recent statewide survey, 95% of state residents say it is important for the state to establish a Dental Bill of Rights.
What’s Next in 2022
- In the 2022 legislative session, CSDA will be advocating for Prior Authorization legislation, also called Promise to Pay, which would make it more difficult for dental insurers to deny or reduce coverage for procedures that had been previously authorized. That is a policy that often puts dental offices in the middle between insurers and patients, taking the brunt of patient dissatisfaction. In the latest statewide survey, a resounding 98% of Connecticut residents said that ending this practice is important to them.
- We also will be advocating for Connecticut to join 24 states that have already passed consumer protection laws that respond to an all-too-common practice – when insurance companies require a dentist to repay a claim the insurer has already paid when the insurer discovers they paid the claim mistakenly. And there’s no limit as to when an insurer can notify a dental office. Connecticut should impose a reasonable time limit, as other states have done, on these Retroactive Denials of Coverage.
- Connecticut has the opportunity to be among the first states to take action on the issue of Dental Loss Ratio, to impose protections for dental care by ensuring that a certain percent of collected premiums go to care, rather than administrative costs. Such limits already exist for medical care, but not yet for dental care. The latest public opinion survey found that 91% support the state imposing a limit on the percentage of dental insurance premium that can be used for administrative costs.
- CSDA will also be proposing legislation that would require adding a code or language on dental insurance cards so that dental offices will know what is covered under an individual patient’s insurance plan. It would enable dentists to share that information with their patients as they discuss specific dental procedures. Public support for this initiative has also grown during the past year, to 94% of residents surveyed.
Strong Public Support
An increasing percentage of Connecticut residents – exceeding 90% in each of the past two years - believe it is important for the state to develop a Dental Bill of Rights that would “establish clear, simple and transparent” dental insurance processes. During the past year, popular support has grown. In fact, more than two-thirds (74%) of state residents now say it is extremely important or very important to do so.
Connecticut Dentists: We Stand With Our Patients
CSDA has developed materials specifically for dental offices and patients, to provide easy-to-understand highlights of these important legislative proposals.
Links to a downloadable fact sheet, which can be shared with patients, and a poster signifying support for the Dental Bill of Rights, are available on this web page. You can also download the logo to place on your website.
We appreciate your participation and support of the Dental Bill of Rights.
The 2022 legislative session opens on February 9 and adjourns on May 4. Should you have any questions, please contact Kathlene Gerrity, CSDA Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.