The Massachusetts Dental Society stepped into the ballot question arena on Monday, endorsing a proposal to apply a spending limit on dental insurance companies that could go before voters in November. Requiring carriers of dental insurance to spend at least 83 percent of their dollars on dental expenses rather than administrative expenses would “make dental providers more transparent and accountable to the patients they serve,” the society said in an announcement of its position on the initiative petition. “As an advocate for both regular and affordable dental care for all Massachusetts residents, the MDS endorses the Massachusetts Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative and encourages Massachusetts residents to pass it in November,” said MDS President Dr. Meredith Bailey. “Patient dollars should be required to be spent in support of their oral health, and patients deserve visibility into how much of their dental insurance premiums are paying for care as opposed to administrative costs.” If the question’s sponsors clear the final signature-gathering hurdle and win a majority of votes in November, dental insurance carriers would newly face medical loss ratios like those in place under state and federal law for medical insurance plans. Carriers would also need to refund excess premiums to members and comply with new data reporting requirements. MDS, which represents more than 5,000 Bay State dentists, said both its statewide group and the broader American Dental Association would support the ballot question campaign. Orthodontist Mouhab Rizkallah chairs the ballot question committee and so far has fully funded the campaign using $501,000 of his own money, according to state campaign finance records. Jason Aluia of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans in March told lawmakers his group, which represents more than a dozen health plans, opposes the question and warned it would lead to “increased premiums for consumers and increased costs for businesses offering dental coverage to employees receiving those benefits.” In February, opponents of the ballot question filed paperwork with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, but so far the committee has not reported any fundraising or spending. – Chris Lisinski/SHNS