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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 26, 2017 09:56 AM
From: Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Assignment of Dental Benefits
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would direct insurance companies to pay a dentist directly for services rendered to a patient. This concept is known as assignment-of-benefits.
Twenty-two other states have enacted similar legislation, which gives patients the right to choose their providers based on their preference, even if the dentist does not participate within the patient’s insurance plan.

Specifically, this bill would allow a patient to authorize payment of insurance benefits directly to the dental service provider in accordance with the provisions of their insurance policy. Payment to the dental service provider from the insurer may not exceed the amount that the insurer would otherwise have paid without the assignment of payment.

Without assignment-of-benefits, patients are forced to pay for the full amount of the dental service upfront – which can be quite cost-prohibitive – or the dentist may risk performing a service without guarantee of payment. Assignment-of-benefits remedies this situation for all parties and thus improves access to care.

The bill was SB 843 last session, and is again a companion to a bill being introduced in the House by Representative Saylor. I invite you to join me in sponsoring this proposal.

Introduced as SB373