ADA Commits $5 Million, Seeks Support for Dental Insurance Initiative

In September the ADA Board of Trustees voted to commit $5 million in support of a statewide ballot initiative — Question 2 in Massachusetts — that would require dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of premium dollars collected on dental services or refund the difference to patients, as opposed to insurance companies using the money for executive salaries or other administrative costs.

At its meeting on Sept. 16 the MDA Board of Trustees approved an MDA donation of $50,000 in support of the Massachusetts ballot initiative, and is encouraging members to follow suit.

“We recognize that this is a unique opportunity to assure that dental benefit carriers spend at least 83% of premium dollars on patient care,” said MDA President Dr. Vince Benivegna. “The MDA urges all members to support this initiative as well.”

Contributions can be made at

The proposed percentage requirement, called a medical loss ratio, or MLR, is already in effect in Massachusetts for medical health insurance. Voting yes on Question 2 would establish the same type of requirement for dental insurance in that state as well.

In a Sept. 15 letter to the ADA membership, ADA President Dr. Cesar Sabates said: “The ADA is proud to join with the Massachusetts Dental Society to help support this measure, and we are asking for your support as well. Please consider financially contributing to the campaign to support a YES vote on Massachusetts Question 2.”

He continued, “If we win in Massachusetts, it will be a watershed moment for patients and dentistry, setting a precedent that could herald future change for dental insurance across the country.

“Dental insurance companies will oppose our efforts and try to scare voters. They may claim that by voting yes, dental insurance premiums will likely have to increase. Our campaign needs the resources to counter this negative messaging so the public realizes that voting yes will hold the dental insurance companies accountable when it comes to the hard-earned dollars patients have paid in premiums.”

Sabates added, “Dental plans should serve patients first and foremost, and the companies that offer them should welcome transparency and accountability, rather than hide from it.

“I encourage everyone across the country who wants to see dental insurance companies held accountable for spending premium dollars collected on actual patient care to stand with us and financially contribute to this campaign.”

Sabates concluded, “Every dollar contributed is important. ALL dentists, dental team members, and patients are the beneficiaries of this initiative. We are a dental family standing together to protect and advocate for our patients.”

More information on the ballot measure is available at