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New Oklahoma law requires insurance transparency

May 10, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Oklahoma City — Thanks to advocacy efforts by the Oklahoma Dental Association, a new Oklahoma law now requires insurance companies to be more transparent when dealing with third party networks.

In cases where dental insurance companies lease their provider networks to other insurance companies, the new law — Oklahoma Senate Bill 1377 — will require the companies to identify the third parties before dental services are completed. Prior to this legislation, many Oklahoma dentists said they were often not aware their services were leased until after treatment was completed. The new law goes into effect Nov. 1.

To drum up support for the bill, ODA created an explainer video featuring Dr. Matt Cohlmia, chair, ODA Council on Government Affairs. In the video, Dr. Cohlmia explained the ins and outs of network leasing and urged ODA members to get involved.

Watch Dr. Matt Cohlmia explain the ins and outs of Oklahoma Senate Bill 1377.
"Almost every major insurance carrier now has some sort of shared network agreement for at least a portion of their networks," said Dr. Cohlmia in the video. "We and our staffs no longer have clarity or predictability within our contracts so that we have control over what we accept and don't accept and when patients call to ask if we are in network we no longer have a clear yes or no answer to give."

"Insurance companies have lots of dollars and lots of lobbying power, but if we are energized, and if every ODA member contacts his or her legislators, we can change this," concluded Dr. Cohlmia.

Additionally, ODA created flyers explaining SB 1377 and made the legislation the center of its state lobbying day, March 1, when some 50 members visited with their state representatives.

View the Oklahoma Dental Association video here. To learn more about SB 1377, visit the ODA website.