Dentists are feeling a sharp pain, thanks to Delta Dental

Stoneham, MA:  02-03-2017;  Dentist Dr. Cara Lund with a patient in her office in Stoneham, Mass. February 7, 2017.  (For story about Delta Dental insurance).

Photo/John Blanding, Boston Globe staff    story/Priyanka McCluskey, Business  ( 08deltadental )
Dr. Cara Lund of Stoneham says she’s concerned about how Delta Dental’s reimbursement policies will affect the care that patients receive. –John Blanding / Boston Globe

A plan by the state’s largest dental insurer to sell new low-cost coverage has sparked an outcry among dentists, who fear the move will cut their incomes and force them to rush through appointments.

Delta Dental of Massachusetts, which has about 2.2 million members, says the move is necessary to attract budget-conscious businesses and consumers amid a slowdown in its growth. But dentists are fighting back, arguing that the savings will come at their expense — and may prompt patients to change dentists.

Several dentists told the Globe that signing on to the new plan means accepting rates as much as 30 percent lower than they get from Delta now.


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