The House Energy & Commerce Committee sent oversight letters to nine health and dental insurance companies on August 13, seeking information on their policies and practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The investigation also follows reports that the health insurance industry is reporting massive profits during the pandemic, as patients defer medical and dental care.
The Committee is aware that many elective procedures have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic, saving insurers potentially billions of dollars in forgone claims. The Committee is also aware that many insurers are also reportedly spending significantly less on their customers’ routine or preventive health care benefits, including dental benefits, as compared to the prior year.
Committee leaders raised questions about whether the dental insurance industry may also be profiting off the pandemic and inquired into whether the dental insurers are offering consumers or providers financial assistance. As part of their inquiry, the Committee leaders requested documents and answers to a series of questions from the health and dental insurance companies by August 27.
The letters sent to each of the dental insurance companies are below:
- Delta Dental Plans Association
- Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
- Metlife, Inc.
- United Concordia Dental
Impact on General Dentistry: AGD is concerned that due to the COVID-19-related closures of dental offices, it may be difficult for some individuals to fully utilize dental policy benefits that they have paid for this year.