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“Even though dental insurance is less expensive on a monthly basis, the number and types of claims that arise in a typical year do not require the staff work that health care does,” said Chris Keohanco-founder of Shawmut Strategies Groupwho worked in support of question 2.

“Health care is clearly much more complicated when it comes to testing and trying to find the problem and the different treatments. There is a wide range of care. With dental care it’s quite a pricing standard in all fields.

What fans say about question 2

Proponents say adopting Question 2 would result in lower premiums and denials of service, while covering more annual patient costs. Patients would also know how their premiums are being spent – ​​information that is currently not made public to those who sometimes pay large sums in dental insurance.

According to question 2, fewer patients would be placed in an “emergency” status in order to pay for their dental care, which Rep. Jon SantiagoD-Bostonsees regularly as an emergency physician in Boston Medical Center.

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“For someone who has an abscess in their mouth, if they wait too long, they get infected. It could have been something that would have been fixed if they had gone to the dentist, but it is now at the point where he has to go to the emergency room for medications and services,” he said.

Such situations occur more frequently because, once in an “emergency” state, the patient’s health insurance covers the cost.

“Really, it’s very simple: it’s important to make sure that people who pay dental insurance premiums, that the money goes to dental care, and as little as possible to overhead,” the rep says. Steven OwensD-Watertown, said in a telephone interview. This hasn’t been the case for almost as long as dental insurance has existed.

Question 2 is supported by the Massachusetts Dental Society and 13 Massachusetts legislators.

What Opponents Say About Question 2

Dental insurers oppose it.

Opponents warn premiums could rise by up to 38% and thousands of Massachusetts residents may lose their dental coverage as a result. The study that predicted this price increase was commissioned and funded by a professional group of dental insurers.

“You will most likely see some carriers exiting the market and some carriers offering less in terms of benefits,” Jim Welch, a former state legislator and spokesperson for the “No on 2” campaign told WBUR. “As carriers leave the market and the benefits go down, access goes down, quality goes down and, unfortunately, costs end up going up.”

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Welch said the measure, if passed, would disproportionately hurt those who can least afford it: “This election issue would really negatively affect small insurance companies, the ones that probably provide dental insurance to employers, small mom and pop type organizations.”

Kyle Sullivanspokesperson for Access Protection Committee at Quality Dental Care, expressed similar concerns.

“Question 2 will increase costs for Massachusetts families and employers and can prevent thousands of residents from getting much-needed dental care. With consumer prices reaching all-time highs, the Commonwealth does not need this additional regulation which will only increase costs and reduce patient choice across the state,” Sullivan said in a statement. on behalf of the committee.

Dental coverage is a voluntary benefit, leaving far fewer residents covered compared to mandatory medical insurance. Dental plans then have to spread the costs among fewer policyholders, Sullivan said, but dental plans have similar fixed administrative costs to medical plans, such as accreditation and monitoring for fraud, waste and misuse. abuse.

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“Dental insurers have fewer dollars and fewer policyholders to cover administrative costs,” Sullivan said, “and so those expenses include a larger portion of dental premiums than medical premiums.”

Delta Dental, the state’s largest insurer, contributed more than $4 million towards the effort to oppose question 2, according to the data of the Massachusetts Campaign and Political Fundraising Office through October 1streported WBUR.

The Massachusetts Dental Society contributed more than $200,000 to the “Yes out of 2” campaign, and the American Dental Association had promised $5 million. Muhab Rizkallah, the Somerville orthodontist, is the largest individual donor, contributing more than $2 million. Several dozen donations came from individual dentists, mostly amounts in the hundreds.

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