H.R. 3762, the Dental and Optometric Care Access Act or “DOC Access Act”, prohibits certain dental and vision plans from setting fees for non-covered services. The bill also would also prohibit these plans from imposing restrictions on medical plan participation and setting limits on a doctor’s choice of lab. Even though a super-majority of states have said ”NO” to these unfair practices, federal health plans are not regulated by state laws. It is time for Congress to take up the DOC Access Act and bring back needed balance to contract negotiations between providers, who are often small business owners, and large dental insurance companies.
Thirty-nine states have passed laws which address coverage and fees for non-covered services but insurance carriers have been able to sidestep state laws for a large portion of their business due to federal preemption of their federally-regulated plans, which is why a legislative fix is needed.