McCarran–Ferguson Reform

What is the McCarran–Ferguson Act?

The McCarran-Ferguson Act is a 1945 law that exempts insurance companies, including health insurance companies, from some of the antitrust laws. The ADA believes these exemptions have resulted in a general absence of scrutiny of health insurance companies by the federal government.

How Does it Affect Your Practice?

Health insurance companies can take advantage of this lack of oversight in their dealings with medical providers, including dentists. By not being subject to the full suite of federal antitrust laws that apply to all other businesses, health insurance companies may not be competing as much as they would without the McCarran-Ferguson exemption. Wherever there is a lack of transparency and competition, it is far less likely that plans are providing adequate service to either dentists or patients.

What Can You Do About it?

The ADA has been one of the lead organizations to support the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act” which would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce all of the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. Through direct lobbying efforts, communications with members of the House of Representatives, and with the advocacy activities of our ADA member dentists, both the House (H.R. 1418) and the Senate (S. 350) have introduced the “Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act” in this Congress.


We are asking our ADA members to reach out to their Representatives and Senators to urge them to support this important legislation. Please use the Take Action button below to reach out to your Members of Congress.

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