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NC Dental Society’s Dental Bill of Rights Among Most Comprehensive Dental Benefits Legislation to Pass in the Country

In a major victory for dentists, Governor Roy Cooper signed the NC Dental Society's Dental Bill of Rights into law this week. This common-sense legislation is among the most comprehensive dental benefits legislation to pass in the country.

In a major victory for dentists, the NC Dental Society has successfully passed the Dental Bill of Rights. This common-sense legislation was signed by Governor Roy Cooper this week and will help stem over-reach by dental insurance companies, affording dentists more control as they participate in third-party payer networks.

The legislation is among the most comprehensive insurance reform to pass in the country. It will be effective January 1, 2020 and accomplishes three goals:

1. Prohibits Mandatory Payment by Virtual Credit Cards: This section of the bill prohibits insurers from requiring dentists to accept one form of payment, such as electronic funds transfer (EFT) or virtual credit cards. Like any other credit card transaction, there are typically a processing fees associated with virtual credit card payments, often ranging from 2.5-5 percent. This means that whenever a provider is reimbursed by an insurance company, a percentage of the payment is automatically subtracted and the office may be forced to pass the cost on to patients.

2. Requires Transparency in Rental Insurance Networks: This section of the legislation requires insurance plans to notify dentists when networks are rented out at the time of a contact’s execution and renewal and gives dentists the ability to opt out of these networks. It also requires any third parties with access to the contract to comply with that contract’s original terms. This will give dental offices who choose to participate in rental networks more certainty in their business with insurers.

3. Protects Prior Authorizations: The third section of the bill prohibits insurers from retracting prior authorizations for treatment, giving both dentists and patients more clarity and confidence in future treatment plans. Patients will be able to rely on the prior authorization to confirm which portions of and at what level treatment will be covered, and what their out-of-pocket costs will be.

We could not have achieved our success without your help. Contact dentists – thank you for reaching out to key committee members and urging them to vote ‘yes’ on this bill. NC Dental PAC members – we couldn’t have done this without your support. Together, these two groups amplify dentistry’s voice at the legislature. Finally, we enthusiastically thank the sponsor of Senate Bill 252, Senator Jim Davis, for his leadership and support. 

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