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State Legislators May Floss Credit Card Fees Out of Dentists' Revenue

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The drafter of a new dental insurance standards proposal has borrowed an idea from the medical doctors: a ban on insurer efforts to pay providers solely through credit card transfers.

(Related: Oklahoma Governor Signs Health Care Payment Bill)

North Dakota state Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck, has included a payment method provision in a Patient Dental Care Bill of Rights model law draft under discussion at the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL).

Members of NCOIL’s Health Insurance & Long Term Care Issues Committee talked about the proposal Wednesday in Austin, Texas, at NCOIL’s annual meeting.

NCOIL is a group for state-level senators, representatives and assembly members who have an interest in insurance. It can’t change state laws itself, but members or others can start with NCOIL models, or batches of sample language, when creating their own bills and regulations.

Keiser’s current dental insurance standards draft includes provisions related to dental provider networks, dental insurers’ payment guarantees, dental insurer spending disclosures, and moves by insurers to deny payments for care after care has been approved and provided.

The payment method provision resembles major medical insurance payment method laws adopted in Oklahoma, Arizona and other states in recent years.

The provision would prohibit a dental plan from making plan payments to a dentist via virtual credit card payments the only way for a dentist to be paid.

If a plan did pay a dentist via virtual credit card payments, or types of electronic fund transfers, the plan would have to tell the dentist about the fees associated with a payment method and explain how the dentist could choose another payment method.

The insurer would also have to tell the dentist if the insurer was sharing part of the credit card company’s fee revenue.


The NCOIL 30 Day Meeting Materials packet is available here.

—Read Arizona Keeps Health Insurers From Paying Providers Only With Credit Cards, on ThinkAdvisor.

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