How New Health Insurance Antitrust Reforms Could Shape Dental Care Moving Forward

A new law has changed interstate business for health insurance, which could shape dental care for the better by bringing new and more competitive forms of dental insurance to new markets.
However, increased competition for dental insurance doesn’t necessarily mean lower prices and nothing else. Consumers and providers will need to evaluate their options carefully in order to make the best decision, or it’s possible the market may become saturated with bare-bones plans that offer minimal coverage.
What is the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act?
The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act amended the McCarran-Ferguson Act (1945), which effectively limited Federal authority to regulate insurance, and instead gave the responsibility to the states.
State-regulated insurance has historically made it difficult for insurance companies to sell across state lines and limited the size of the overall market. In recent years, both Republicans and Democrats have taken interest in repealing the McCarran-Ferguson Act. It was amended successfully with the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act being signed into Law January 13, 2021.
Now the power for regulating insurance companies has shifted back to the Federal Government, giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) the authority to regulate insurance companies.
How the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act could improve dental care
Those who support the new law believe it will foster healthy competition among dental insurance companies and offer more options for consumers and providers at a lower cost. This could lead to an increase in dental care coverage and the variety of dental plans on the market, giving consumers more and better opportunities to get the dental care they need.
New challenges for insurers to meet
With any new law, new challenges arise. Here are some of the unique challenges dental insurers may face and how they can meet these challenges.
Helping consumers make informed decisions
Lower premiums are just one aspect of competitive plans—consumers would also do well to evaluate dental insurance that offers more comprehensive coverage, wider networks, and other benefits. Rather than thinking in terms of buying cheaper dental insurance, we may see a shift in smart consumers investing in better dental insurance that effectively provides better dental care.
Pricing dental insurance accurately in new markets
One concern of the antitrust reform is that insurance companies may not have access to pooling data, which helps all insurers understand how to price their services in different markets.
The Bottom Line
It’s ultimately up to consumers to choose the best dental insurance for their needs, and it’s likely there will be more luxury of choice in terms of dental insurance options, prices, and sizes of networks. The challenge for many consumers will likely be choosing between the right option and the most cost-effective option, and we can look forward to the ways that insurers help consumers make informed decisions.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.