What would Question 2 do?

Question 2 is an anti-consumer proposal that will increase costs for Massachusetts families and employers – a 38% premium increase in one recent study –  and can result in denying thousands of residents access to much needed dental care. With consumer prices soaring to all-time highs, the Commonwealth doesn’t need this added regulation that will only increase costs and decrease choice for patients across the state.

If passed, Question 2 would establish a minimum medical loss ratio (“MLR”) of 83% for dental benefit plans in Massachusetts. However, the Massachusetts Special Commission on Dental Insurance – chaired by the state’s Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and including legislators, regulators, experts and stakeholders – already recommended NOT requiring MLR’s for dental plans in Massachusetts because it could actually decrease dental coverage in the state.  

Question 2would also require dental benefit plan carriers to submit comprehensive annual financial reports on all lines of business – not just their dental plans. Similar requirements were already the law in Massachusetts until 2011, when the Legislature repealed them because they were too burdensome and provided no tangible benefits for consumers.

The eight page long ballot question is complicated, overly technical, and poorly written.  Click here to read the full text of the initiative petition.  

What is a loss ratio?

A loss ratio regulates the proportion of the premium that is allocated toward non-claim expenses. A loss ratio does not measure value or quality of care.

Why should I oppose Question 2?
  • If this anti-consumer ballot question passes, it will increase costs and decrease choice for Massachusetts families and employers, resulting in:
    • Higher costs for the same quality of care
      • One recent study found a resulting nearly 40% increase in premiums
    • Denying thousands of residents access to much needed dental care
    • Worse dental and health outcomes, due decrease in coverage
  • There has never been a law to like Question 2 enacted anywhere in the United States
    • Obamacare – the ACA purposely did not require loss ratios for voluntary benefits like dental and vision plans.
    • The Massachusetts Special Commission on Dental Insurance – reviewed the issue of dental loss ratios and specifically recommended NOT requiring them in Massachusetts because it could actually decrease dental coverage in the state.  
  • A ballot question is no place to decide such a complicated issue that will force consumers to pay more for the same level of care while only benefiting providers. Question 2 is an end-run around experts and the Legislature.
How do we know costs will go up for consumers and businesses?

In May 2022 Milliman, one of the world’s largest independent actuarial and consulting firms, issued a report studying the potential implications of Question 2 in Massachusetts.  

In a conservative representative example, the report detailed that to meet the requirements of this ballot question dental premiums would  go up 38% — without any guarantee that YOU will get better care.

In addition, the report detailed how some dental plans may not be able to comply with Question 2 and will stop offering dental insurance in Massachusetts.  This would reduce consumer choice, both in terms of dental plan selection and the dentist you can see.