SD, Ore. ban fee capping

South Dakota and Oregon have approved laws that prohibit insurance companies from limiting fees for dental procedures they don't cover, and several other states are poised to follow suit.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed the bill March 23; the law takes effect July 1, 2010. A similar law was signed into law by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski on March 18 and took effect immediately.

Jack Muller, D.D.S., president the South Dakota Dental Association, which spearheaded the bill, testified in hearings about dentists who were forced to decline certain procedures because discounted fees imposed by insurers on noncovered services did not cover the cost of doing them. "This is a more fair situation," he said.

Legislators in Virginia, Washington, and Iowa have approved similar measures that have been sent to their governors to be signed into law.

Rhode Island approved a similar law last June.

Fee-capping legislation is also being considered in other states, including Oklahoma and Kansas.

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