Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act

Background on the DOC Access Act

The current dental insurance landscape is unfair to both providers and patients. Specifically, dentists, their patients, and the public at large are disadvantaged by the negative impact non-covered service provisions have on competition among entities in the health insurance industry. Imposing discounts on providers for services an insurance company doesn’t cover is a marketing ploy, designed to gain a competitive advantage over smaller carriers. The larger plans are using their market power to dictate pricing on services for which they bear no financial responsibility. Our goal is to bring needed balance to contract negotiations between providers, who are often small business owners, and large dental insurance companies.

DOC Access Act in Congress

The Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act, S. 1793/ H.R. 3461, would prohibit dental and vision plans from setting the fees network doctors may charge for services not covered by the insurers, from providing unreasonably minimal compensation for services rendered, and from forcing doctors into participating in contracts of excess of two years.


This bill is narrowly drawn to apply only to the business of dental and vision insurance plans regulated by the federal government (44 states have already passed similar legislation impacting dental and vision insurance regulated by the states).

What Can You Do About it?

The American Dental Association (ADA) is urging Congress to advance S. 1793/ H.R. 3461, the DOC Access Act, to foster competition in the insurance industry, benefit consumers, and bring balance to contract negotiations that are currently skewed unfairly to advantage dental insurance companies. Use the form provided below to reach out to your legislators now–write, call, or tweet your elected officials so they know where you stand on the issues.

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