DATE: May 8, 2023

CONTACT: Adam Fox, 303-563-9108,

                Jenny Davies, 720-296-9545,

Colorado Legislature Passes Bill to Improve Value of Dental Plans

Colorado consumers will benefit from better and more affordable care

Denver – On Saturday, the Colorado legislature approved SB23-179 to create clearer requirements and transparency for the value of dental insurance plans. Data shows that many Coloradans face barriers and struggle to afford the oral health care they need, even when they have dental insurance. SB23-179 will ensure that lower value dental plans are increased to be closer to the norm and ensure transparency through public reporting of their dental loss ratio _ the percentage of premiums spent on actual health care.

“Three out of four Coloradans say dental care is too expensive and many face excessive wait times to get care,” said Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. “Dental plans need to be held to a higher standard to improve affordability of care for Coloradans. This bill is an important step in that direction, but more will be needed to ensure oral health is affordable and accessible for all.”

Almost all dental plans have annual limits on coverage, a feature that was eliminated in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and utilize significant coinsurance. This can leave consumers stuck needing care they cannot afford with their dental plan. Implementing higher standards and public reporting requirements for dental loss ratios is an important step to improving the value of dental insurance.

“Unfortunately, our health system continues to fail in covering the whole person,” continued Fox. “Despite strong evidence for how oral and vision health affect our overall well being, we continue to have health coverage and care systems that fail to treat the entire person. SB179 is an important step to ensure better value in dental insurance, but we must begin working toward a fully integrated coverage system where our mouths and eyes are not treated as separate from our bodies and overall health.”


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