State Affairs

NADP’s State Government Relations program tracks trends in insurance regulation and oral health legislation in the states. Thousands of related bills have been introduced in state legislatures. Each session, NADP staff provide members with an overview of the issues and legislation enacted by state. The sources for legislative updates include Statescape Tracking Service (“LOTS”) and updates from member plans operating in all states.

NADP Tracks State-Level COVID Responses

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on NADP’s state-level advocacy in 2020. In response to the pandemic, NADP created members-only tracking resources to follow topics like insurance grace periods, telemedicine initiatives, filing requirements, special enrollment periods, and state re-opening guidelines. As state efforts to administer the COVID vaccine and vaccinate front line medical staff have begun, NADP has continued to keep members informed of newly-publicized state plans and the push to include dentists among the first to receive the vaccine. 

State Legislative Tracking 

2020 State Legislative Wrap Up

While 2020 was an atypical year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NADP continued its regular work of analyzing and advocating on key topics relevant to the dental benefits industry in the states, such as legislation related to network leasing, non-covered services, and taxation of insurance. Nebraska enacted network leasing provisions requiring insurers to permit providers to opt-out of participation in leasing, and similar legislation was proposed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Also in 2020, New Hampshire became the 40th state to enact a non-covered dental services law, while Vermont and Ohio considered but did not enact similar bills.

Every year the NADP compiles a review of relevant state policy activity for the year for members.  

Legislative Online Tracking System

NADP members have access to the Legislative Online Tracking System, or LOTS, a comprehensive Web-based monitoring system - tracking critical and applicable legislation and regulation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government every day of the year from anywhere in the world. (must be logged in)

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State Law Portal

To provide our members with a summary of how dental plans are licensed in each state, NADP commissioned Stateside Associates to collect this information. NADP Members can find a list of states with a link to a detailed summary of the various licensing definitions.

NADP Comment Letters

NADP continuously works to educate legislators and regulators regarding the importance of the dental benefits industry in relation to improving overall oral health. Become an NADP member to access state-level comment letters.

State Fact Sheets

State Fact Sheets detail enrollment, provider network information and plans operating in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These were created as an educational tool for employers, brokers, providers and legislators and regulators about the dental benefits industry in their jurisdictions.

Advocacy Spotlight: NCOIL

NADP Advocacy Improves NCOIL Model Act, Removes Medical Loss Ratio Provision

The National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Health Insurance & Long-Term Care Issues Committee convened on December 10 and voted in favor of the Transparency in Dental Benefits Contracting Model Act ("Model Act"), which was adopted by the NCOIL Executive Committee on December 12, 2020.

The adopted version of the Model Act reflects substantial changes from an earlier version that was introduced by the American Dental Association (ADA) as the "Patient Dental Care Bill of Rights" in December 2019. At the time of introduction, NADP stood in opposition to the Model Act for its failure to accomplish the goals of improving the welfare of dental consumers. In the spring of 2020, NADP along with industry partners (AHIP and ACLI), submitted a letter of opposition, offering up an alternative proposal that focused solely on network leasing. In person testimony on this issue from NADP Executive Director, Eme Augustini, encouraged the Committee to strike several provisions that were unrelated to leasing including "medical loss ratios, [which] have scarcely been considered by any states at all, and are enormously controversial."

The in-person testimony at NCOIL meetings and grassroots outreach from member companies, stressing the impact of various provisions on dental benefits consumers, prompted a more thorough review of the draft Model by Committee members. While the NADP alternative proposal addressing leasing only was not adopted, the Model Act's overpayment recovery and medical loss ratios provisions were removed from the Act, and NADP and its partners reached a successful compromise with the ADA making numerous favorable amendments to the remaining sections on network leasing, prior authorizations, and virtual credit cards.

In written and oral comments delivered to the bill sponsors on December 10, 2020, NADP voiced its support for keeping providers well-informed and giving dentists choices with regard to their participation in a carrier's leasable network, stating that Association was pleased that Model Act "recognizes that network leasing is an important practice that creates value for employers, providers, and consumers by expanding carriers' networks." NADP raised the industry's remaining concerns that requirements in the leasing section related to the provider renewal process were administratively burdensome and also called on the sponsors to strengthen wording in the Model Act distinguishing prior authorizations from pre-treatment estimates, which are voluntary and non-binding. 

NADP will continue to work with state legislatures in an effort to ensure that any bills introduced on the subject of network leasing or prior authorization contain provisions that are favorable to the dental benefits industry.  

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