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Advocacy Update: AAE Calls on Missouri Lawmakers to Prioritize Patients Over Insurance Company Profits

On January 4, AAE President Dr. Craig S. Hirschberg sent a letter in strong support of dental loss ratio legislation to two Missouri lawmakers after learning of their Missouri Times Op-Ed opposing the adoption of dental loss ratio proposals in Missouri. The AAE letter disagreed with the lawmakers’ misguided position against dental loss ratio bills and articulated the Association’s support of the measures that “ensure consumers’ hard-earned premium dollars are allocated responsibly to the provision of dental care rather than being used to bolster the profits of dental insurance corporations and the compensation of insurance executives.”

Dental loss ratio policy requires dental insurance carriers to allocate a predetermined percentage of patients’ premium dollars to dental care versus administrative costs and profits. Failure to meet this standard would require insurance companies, by state law, to refund the difference to their beneficiaries. This policy concept is not new, drawing inspiration from the medical loss ratio provision in the Affordable Care Act, which directs 80% of premium costs towards patients’ healthcare expenses rather than company profits and administrative expenses.

Over the past year, the AAE has spearheaded advocacy efforts nationwide to implement dental loss ratio legislation at the state level. Collaborating with the American Dental Association and other dental organizations, the Association played a pivotal role in successfully ushering in the adoption of dental loss ratio laws in states such as Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Nevada. With robust public support for dental loss ratios evident among patients, state legislatures, including Missouri, are now deliberating similar measures.

During the 2024 legislative session, the AAE will continue to advocate for dental loss ratios in states like Missouri to increase patients’ access to affordable and quality dental care.

Read the full letter here.