Ballot Question 2

yes vote would regulate dental insurance rates, including by requiring companies to spend at least 83 percent of premiums on member dental expenses and quality improvements instead of administrative expenses, and by making other changes to dental insurance regulations.

no vote would make no change in the law relative to the regulations that apply to dental insurance companies.

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Working as a dental hygienist is a fulfilling career. I have a healthy schedule of patients that I see every three or six months, and I care about every single one of them.

In dental hygiene, we’re prevention specialists, and we’re fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with each of our patients. My patients often ask me about issues affecting their dental care — such as Question 2 on Massachusetts ballots.

As hygienist and on behalf of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienists’ Association, I hope you’ll vote yes on Question 2.

Since hygienists and other dental team members do not own practices or have “the business” to think about, we’re able to focus on interacting directly with the patient. We often hear from patients that dealing with insurance companies can be a tireless effort and a barrier to obtaining the oral health care they need. Insurance companies seem to dictate the care that a patient can receive, even when they have never met them.

Dental insurance companies do not have any requirement to prioritize patient care — in fact, they often prioritize their own profits instead. I have seen this time and again when patients have talked to me about being denied coverage for the deep cleaning, crown or other procedure that can improve their overall health, but that they can’t afford without insurance coverage. Better dental benefits to cover this type of care could, in the long run, save thousands of dollars for the patient.

Question 2 would ensure patient dollars are spent on patient care. It will hold dental insurance companies accountable to disclose how they’re spending patient dollars and, if they don’t spend at least 83 percent of premiums on patient care, they will have to refund the difference to their covered individuals or groups.

Here are more facts:

  • Medical insurance companies are required to spend at least 88 percent of premiums on patient care, but there is no such requirement for dental insurance.
  • The industry’s own data shows that some dental insurance companies may spend as little as 60 percent of premiums on patient care.
  • Contrary to the claims of the large insurance companies, Question 2 specifically prevents dental insurance premium increases above the consumer price index without approval by the state of Massachusetts. It also requires the state to block premium increases deemed to be excessive or unreasonable.

It’s not just dentists and hygienists who know Question 2 would deliver real benefits. More than a dozen groups, such as the Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Massachusetts Nurses Association and Mass Retirees, urge a yes vote on Question 2, along with more than a dozen state representatives.

A yes vote on Question 2 will finally make the multibillion-dollar dental insurance companies actually put the patient first by making them spend your money to cover your care. I hope that voters will review the facts and join health and dental care providers and patients across Massachusetts in voting yes on Question 2. Get the facts at

By Amanda Berthiaume