An Act Relative to Increasing Patient Choice Through the Assignment of Benefits | Pending FilingAssignment of benefits is a provision that allows patients who seek treatment from an out-of-network dentist to direct their insurance carrier to directly pay the provider. Permitting the assignment of benefits enables patients to have fewer immediate out-of-pocket expenses, increased choice in providers, and, therefore, greater access to care.
Without the ability to assign benefits directly to the provider, patients are responsible for all costs upfront; they must submit a claim to the carrier after the fact; then wait for an undefined amount of time for a reimbursement check.
This legislation would require all insurance carriers to permit, as a provision in a group or individual policy, contract, or health plan for coverage of dental services, a covered person to direct in writing that reimbursable benefits for covered dental services be paid directly to the treating dentist irrespective of whether the dentist has contracted with the carrier as an in-network provider. The paying carrier also would be required to pay the dentist the same rate or fee as a dentist who had contracted with the carrier for the same services rendered.