The state Attorney General’s Office is notifying consumers about their rights in regards to dental practices and their provider’s responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AG’s Office on Monday released an advisory after receiving multiple concerns from residents about surcharges. Many times, consumers were not aware of the fee until after the services were provided. According to Healy’s Office, the surcharges range from $10 to $35.
The advisory, which was sent to the Massachusetts Dental Society, specifies the obligations of dental providers as they relate to infection control surcharges.
“We understand that many dental practices are facing increased financial burdens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, consumers across our state are dealing with their own financial hardships and should not have to pay inappropriate or surprise charges. This advisory provides guidance on when fees may be appropriate and when they are not.”
ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALY
In the advisory, the AG explained, “That when consumers receive dental care from dentists within their insurance network, the contract between their dental plan insurer and the dental practice typically prohibits any additional fees. It further advises that in other situations where surcharges for PPE may be allowed under insurance contracts—for instance, where the dentist is out of network with the consumer’s insurance, or where the consumer does not have dental insurance—dental practices should provide advance notice of the fee.”
To read the full advisory sent by the AG’s Office, click here.
Consumers can also contact the Attorney General’s Health Care Division about surcharges through the Office Health Care Helpline at 1-888-830-6277. Or online, here.