Dr. Chris Fagan
John Gladden’s March 2 column, “Why new bill would be undesirable for Oklahoma dental sufferers,” is a blatant exertion to confuse Oklahomans about what Residence Invoice 3023 would do — and why it is so significant.
In my 11 years of practicing dentistry, I have repeatedly witnessed insurance policy firms inhibiting individual care by refusing to pay back the value of essential remedies — in lots of instances, after the care has now been rendered. These insurers wedge by themselves concerning the dentist and individual with disingenuous marketing and advertising techniques and diminished coverage.
HB 3023 is a initial move toward protecting people from the unsafe methods of dental insurers. This monthly bill, if handed, would only say that coverage companies can’t dictate the price tag of expert services they are not covering. In its place, these charges would be settled between the dentist and the affected individual in a way that is truthful for everybody. This invoice will not consequence in much more out-of-pocket bills for the individuals. On the contrary, it will reinforce their profit approach and consequence in much more therapy for their rates.
Insurance policy providers oppose this invoice simply because it would prohibit a person of their preferred tactics: Dictating that dentists slash their charges considerably underneath expenditures for processes the insurance company isn’t even covering, and only for some clients. Meanwhile, everyone else — patients in distinctive programs and uninsured sufferers — are forced to pay back additional to make up the variation. Insurance companies do this to make their designs appear far more desirable in the market, leveraging their unrestrained current market power to pressure sufferers and dentists to pay the value for their advertising strategies. They do not publicize how this marketplace-manipulation pattern actually harms dental sufferers.
Mr. Gladden is right about a single issue: Cost is a considerable barrier among Oklahomans and oral well being care. This is specially real for lower-money men and women who deficiency dental insurance coverage. Regrettably, the costs of dental care for uninsured sufferers are artificially lifted when insurance businesses prohibit dentists from charging honest fees for all the sufferers for whom they give care.
We must reject attempts to paint dental clients and dentists as “special interests” or adversaries. I selected dentistry in get to provide my group. As a dentist, I am also a tiny small business operator in rural Oklahoma with 11 workers. I see my sufferers in the regional grocery store, at church and at high school football online games. My patients are not just charts — they are my local community, my friends and my household.
Clients are greatest served when they can make oral wellness treatment selections in session with their dentist, somewhat than at the whims of their dental insurance service provider. HB 3023 would enable restore the dependable connection among dentist and individual and secure all individuals from unfair intrusion in their dental treatment by dental insurers. The Oklahoma Legislature must move it without delay.
Dr. Chris Fagan, techniques standard dentistry in Enid, Oklahoma. He is president of the Oklahoma Dental Affiliation.