Question 2 Passes in Massachusetts: What Does This Mean?

Voters in Massachusetts vote YES to new dental insurance regulations

Midterm Election Day on Tuesday, November 8, gave Massachusetts voters the power to determine how the state would move forward with important propositions on this year’s ballot, including Question 2 — a law that would create regulations for dental insurance.

Ballot Question 2: What & Why?

Question 2 has been a controversial topic because it would be the first law of its kind in the U.S. that would require dental insurers to be upfront and transparent about patient dollars.

A “yes” outcome would introduce new regulations for dental insurance carriers, including a legal requirement that insurers spend a minimum of 83% of premium on patient care, rather than administrative costs — also known as medical loss ratio. If the ratio is not met, then dental insurers would be required to refund the excess premium to its covered individuals and groups. On the contrary, a “no” outcome would make no changes to the current rules for dental insurance companies.

Both sides had strong reasoning for their support of Question 2, or lack thereof. Those in support, including The Massachusetts Dental Society, the Alliance of Independent Dentists Massachusetts, and other Massachusetts dental groups, want insurance companies to be held accountable for the lack of transparency when it comes to how patient dollars are spent and believe these new regulations would direct more money back to patient care. However, those who are in opposition, such as the traditional dental insurance carriers, say that implementing new regulations will cause an increase in premiums which will raise the cost of insurance for policyholders, denying access to many across the state.

The Results Are in. Now What?

With over 2 million votes cast for Tuesday’s election, the people of Massachusetts have spoken: Question 2 has passed and will require insurance companies that don’t reach the required medical loss ratio to begin issuing rebates to their customers, beginning in 2024.

Here at Bento, we’re thrilled that Massachusetts voters have voiced their support for more transparency with their dental insurance providers – we feel the same way.

The passing of Question 2 is a step in the right direction for all dental insurance providers to be more transparent and be held accountable for how patient dollars are spent. Nevertheless, without a drastic change in the process of how dental benefits are rendered, the benefits of ballot questions like Question 2 are limited.

However, Bento did not wait for passed legislation to provide a modern dental benefit experience with unprecedented transparency. Bento’s model was built to create a streamlined and transparent experience for patients, dentists, and employers to administer dental benefits.

Bento’s patented machine-learning algorithms streamline processing claims and reduce the administrative burden at every step of the dental claim process, ensuring every dollar possible is spent on patient care.

While the passing of Question 2 in Massachusetts is a step forward, we urge you to keep these questions in mind when reviewing your proposed dental insurance packages now, and once these new regulations are implemented:

  • Are you getting a better plan for your employees or clients?
  • Do you have clarity into where your benefit dollars are being spent?
  • Are the plan participants getting a better overall experience because of the new regulations?

If the answer to any (or all) of these questions is no, then now is the time to look for a better dental plan and explore the innovative platform with unrivaled transparency that was built by Bento.

Unprecedented Transparency with Bento

Bento is already creating better plans, built specifically for your company or group’s individual needs, with the advantage of keeping any benefit dollars that go unused.

A solution endorsed by the ADA, Bento, is a proven disruptor in the industry with unparalleled transparency. The platform continues to enable groups, employers, dentists, and individuals to offer and transact seamlessly with their dental benefit. With Bento, you can rest assured that every dollar spent, aside from the minimal platform fee, is going toward patient care and nothing else.

Bento customers were already seeing the benefits of Massachusetts Question 2 before the November 8 vote, with significant cost savings and transparent payments to all parties involved in the benefit administrative process. We are optimistic that this first-of-its-kind legislation is just the beginning, but encourage you to continue to be your own advocate in understanding what you’re paying for, and why.

Learn more about how you can start setting a higher standard with Bento today.