Currently, patients are being adversely impacted by provisions in dental and vision plans that dictate how much a doctor may charge a plan enrollee, even though the services provided to the enrollee are not “covered” (i.e., paid for) by the plan. The Dental and Optometric Care Access Act or DOC Access Act would prohibit dental and vision plans from setting the fees network doctors may charge for services not covered by the insurers.
44 state governments have passed laws that limit interference with the doctor-patient relationship when a dentist or optometrist delivers services not covered by the insurers. However, many dental and vision plans are federally regulated, so insurers claim they are exempt from having to follow state laws. This insurer loophole means some enrollees and doctors face undue confusion in how their plans work. It’s time for Congress to take action to ensure all patients in the country are protected, no matter how their plans are regulated.
The scales are tipped too far in the favor of large dental plans. Passage of the DOC Access Act would balance the scales, protect patients, and bring needed equity to insurer/provider contracting. Take action today to ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 1793 and your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3461.