Supports consumer protection measure to force dental insurers to invest more resources in direct patient care, as opposed to exorbitant CEO salaries and other administrative costs
CANTON, Mass., August 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors – 27 elected nurses and healthcare professionals representing the Commonwealth’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses and healthcare professionals – has approved an important initiative ballots calling for dental insurance reform, which appear as Question 2 on the November ballot.
The measure, the Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative, provides significant consumer protection by requiring dental insurers to invest the bulk of their premiums in direct oral care for patients, contrary to the current practice whereby these resources are diverted to exorbitant frameworks. salaries and other administrative costs. The measure imposes spending requirements on dental insurers similar to those already in place for medical insurers. Currently in Massachusetts, 88% of health insurance premiums must be used for treatment, otherwise, they are returned to the policyholder as a refund. This is called an annual overall medical loss ratio. A vote for Question 2 would require dental insurers to spend 83% of insurance premiums on patient care, and if the funds are not spent, the excess would be refunded to policyholders.
“As nurses and healthcare professionals, we have long supported initiatives to compel insurers and other providers to use their vast resources to deliver care to the patients they claim to be there to serve, and that’ will this measure do for people covered by dental insurance plans,” said Katie Murphy, RNpresident of the MNA, which represents 25,000 RNs and healthcare professionals working in 85 different healthcare institutions in Cape Cod in the Berkshires. “We also strongly oppose any corporate practices that allow greed and profit to interfere with or limit patients’ access to the care they need.”
For example, according to a recent 2019 tax return for Delta Dental, the state’s largest dental insurer, the company paid bonuses, commissions and executive payments to affiliates of $382 millionby paying only $177 million for patient care. In addition to premium expenditure requirements, the measure calls for transparency from insurers by reporting on exactly how premiums are allocated, which is of great value to consumers, whether companies or individuals covered by these plans.
“As caregivers in a variety of settings, we understand that access to quality dental care is an essential part of every resident’s health and well-being. Untreated dental problems can contribute to a number of serious medical conditions, including COPD, heart disease, and stroke. Murphy often thinks of himself as a critical care nurse. “This initiative recognizes the importance of dental care on an equal footing with other forms of medical care and will hold insurers accountable for providing an appropriate level of care,” Murphy concluded.
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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 25,000 members advance the nursing profession by promoting high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general well-being of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic vision of nursing, and lobbying the legislature and regulatory bodies on health care issues affecting nurses. and the public.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association