Legislation sponsored by State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) that clarifies dental care insurance benefits for dentists and patients was signed into law this week by Governor Bruce Rauner.
SB 2851 requires dental insurance cards to now include specific information on the card that identifies whether the coverage is subject to regulation by the Illinois Department of Insurance. “Through the previous law, dental services providers did not know if a dental plan includes protections afforded by the Department of Insurance,” said Reick. “In cases where a dental plan was subject to the Department’s regulations, certain coverage and offerings are mandated and billing and benefits are spelled out and regulated by the Department. If a plan is only an administrator and not subject to the Department, then the provider’s only recourse for a dispute is to contact the employer directly.”
Reick went on to explain that individuals who have dental plans not subject to Department regulation can use providers that are not in their network and the plan reimburses the patient directly, leaving the provider to attempt to collect payment from the patient. “By requiring a dental benefit card to display whether a plan is subject to regulation by the Department, the dental provider will be fully informed as to what type of plan he is accepting prior to taking on the patient,” Reick said. “Patients too will have a better understanding of what their out-of-pocket or up-front costs will be.”