Solstice and NADP Urge Congress to Protect Consumer-Friendly Dental Policies

Dental Industry advocates for tax policies that maintain the affordability of dental coverage and de-couples dental and medical benefits on the public exchanges.

Amidst a snowstorm and a slew of cancelled flights, on Thursday, March 22, Solstice Benefits, Inc., (Solstice) joined nearly 50 individuals from 24 different dental carriers and urged Congress to support policies that ensure affordable dental coverage and access to quality care during the National Association of Dental Plan’s (NADP’s) annual Advocacy in Action on Capitol Hill.

Solstice met with Congress members and staffers, who represent some of the states in which the company does business, such as Florida, New York, and New Jersey. They were also able to have a face-to-face meeting with Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who represents the district in which their Florida Headquarters is located. Additionally, Solstice and other NADP participants requested bipartisan support from Congress and their staff on the following:   

  • Tax policies
  • Access to dental benefits via the public insurance exchanges
  • Medicaid and CHIP Program

“It’s an immense privilege to live out our mission of improving the lives of those we serve by partnering with NADP and being the voice for our industry and consumers,” said Carlos Ferrera, Solstice Chief Operating Officer. “We are excited to share our in-depth knowledge on oral health, its impact on overall health and how affordable dental benefits and access to quality care results in positive health outcomes.”

Here’s a summary of the major topics addressed:

Tax Policies

Health Insurance Tax Moratorium – Solstice and NADP requested an extension of the moratorium on the health insurance tax until 2020. If the moratorium expires in 2018 as scheduled, the Health Insurance Tax will result in a two percent increase in the taxes of health and dental insurance companies that offer fully insured health benefits, significantly impacting the affordability of dental coverage.

Tax Exclusion for Employer-Paid Dental Benefits – With 93 percent of Americans receiving dental coverage through their employers, Solstice and NADP members requested support for the continued tax exclusion for employer-paid dental benefits. This means that dental premiums would continue to be tax deductible for both employees and employers. An NADP study shows that if the exclusion is removed, 54 percent of consumers would drop their dental coverage.  

Access to Standalone Dental Coverage

De-Couple Dental and Medical Coverage on Public Marketplaces – Solstice and the other NADP representatives asked for de-couple the purchase of dental and medical coverage on public marketplaces. As it stands, consumers must purchase medical coverage to buy dental insurance. In many cases when consumers change or drop their medical coverage, their dental plan is also automatically discontinued. NADP asked for Congress's support in seeking a technical solution to this dilemma.

Medicaid & CHIP

The Advocacy in Action team thanked elected officials for approving Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding for another 10 years. This was an important decision in light of the fact that tooth decay is the no. 1 most common chronic childhood illness. Additionally, NADP volunteered to be a resource regarding dental benefits in Medicaid and CHIP.

About Solstice

Solstice provides dental and vision insurance coverage to more than 700,000 members nationally and has built the current No. 1 largest Open Access DHMO provider network in Florida and New York. In 2013, Solstice created an award-winning broker exchange and benefits administration platform – the Solstice Marketplace. In 2016, Solstice was ranked the No. 16 insurance company on Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing private list.

About NADP

National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) a Texas nonprofit corporation with headquarters in Dallas, Texas, is the representative and recognized resource of the dental benefits industry. NADP is the only national trade organization that includes the full spectrum of dental benefits companies operating in the United States. NADP’s members provide Dental HMO, Dental PPO, Dental Indemnity and Discount Dental products to more than 90 percent of the 211 million Americans with dental benefits.

Media Contact: Alissa Gavrilescu (agavrilescu@solsticebenefits.com) 

Source: Solstice Benefits, Inc.

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