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Legislative Agenda

Learn about the status of legislation introduced on Beacon Hill that would impact you, your dental practice, and the oral health of the residents of the Commonwealth.

MLR—Pending Regulation

Medical Loss Ratio
Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) ensures that dental plans are more transparent and accountable to the patients they serve. This reform requires dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of patient premium dollars on patient care. After winning a landslide victory at the ballot box in November 2022, the initiative is going through the regulatory process and will become law in January 2024.

Current Bills Filed 2023-2025

Dental Insurance Assignment of Benefits
An Act Relative to Dental Insurance Assignment of Benefits | H.1124 

The Massachusetts Dental Society believes that all Massachusetts residents should have access to quality oral health care, and should be able to choose the dental provider that’s best for them. To preserve patient choice, An Act relative to dental insurance assignment of benefits would require all insurance carriers to permit a covered person to direct in writing that reimbursable benefits for covered services be paid directly to the treating dentist of their choice.

Preventing Cost Shifting Within the Delivery of Dental Care
An Act relative to financial services contracts for dental benefits corporations | H.1122

This legislation, An Act relative to financial services contracts for dental benefits corporations, would prohibit carriers from contractually setting fees for services for which the carriers do not provide payment, except for services for which the carrier would have provided payment had the patient not reached a contractual limitation (i.e., frequency limitations, annual maximums, etc.).

Patients First Act
An Act further clarifying the delivery of health care | H.1123

On January 1, 2022, Governor Baker signed the Patients First Act into law. This act requires health care providers, including dental providers, to tell patients how much they will pay for planned procedures in advance of the treatment– based on the patient’s specific dental insurance plan benefits. The Department of Public Health may fine providers who fail to comply with the requirements with a penalty of up to $2,500 for each non-compliance.

In July 2022, Massachusetts passed an amendment to the law to delay enforcement of the act until January 1, 2025. In February 2023, An Act to Further Clarify the Delivery of Health Care, was introduced to amend the law to exclude "any provider licensed to practice dentistry." The MDS will continue to work the legislators to clarify this issue.