The campaign asking voters to approve a new law dealing with dental insurer spending launched its first television ad on Tuesday, taking direct aim at the carrier that has poured millions of dollars into trying to sink the ballot question.
"Delta Dental, a so-called not for profit company, contributed $291 million to their parent company while only spending $177 million for patient care that same year," a narrator reads in the commercial, highlighting financial figures that a campaign spokesperson said came from Delta Dental of Massachusetts' 2019 Internal Revenue Service form 990.
"Vote yes on question 2 so your dental insurance is actually spent on you," the ad says.
Delta Dental itself has emerged as the main opponent to the ballot question, contributing more than $4.5 million of the roughly $5 million the opposition campaign committee raised through Sept. 20, according to state campaign finance records.
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The Committee on Dental Insurance Quality, also known as the Yes On 2 Campaign, spent about $1.5 million on the ad buy to air the commercial statewide on broadcast and cable through Election Day, a spokesperson said.
The proposed law would impose a medical loss ratio of 83% on dental insurance carriers, effectively requiring those insurers to spend at least 83% of the premiums they collect on patient care.
Medical insurers already face similar spending requirements, and supporters of the ballot question argue no such limit exists for dental insurance. The campaign behind the ballot question has raised more than $2.2 million from orthodontist Mouhab Rizkallah. Carriers have called for lawmakers and voters to reject the measure, with the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans arguing in March that implementation of a medical loss ratio on dental plans would lead to higher premiums and increased costs for employers offering dental coverage.