The ADA is pleased that Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) has introduced S 3782, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, which was drafted to help ensure more competition in the health insurance marketplace by reestablishing federal antitrust enforcement over the health insurance industry.
“If health insurance companies had to observe the antitrust laws when setting rates and designing coverage, they would have to compete more aggressively with each other for both individual customers and purchasers of large group policies,” said Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, ADA president.
“Currently, when health insurers overcharge or take advantage of customers, the consumers’ only course of action is to file a complaint with their state’s insurance commissioner, who often have very limited resources and rarely act,” said Cole.
The bill is narrowly drawn to apply only to the business of health insurance, including dental insurance. The House passed its version of the act, HR 372, by a vote of 416-8, illustrating bipartisan support for the policy.
If enacted, the legislation will amend a section of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945 that exempted the insurance industry from provisions of the Sherman Act and Clayton Act that ensure fair competition. If passed, it will help level the playing field between health insurers, providers, and consumers and make health insurance more affordable, the ADA says.