Section 11A: Alternative dental coverage option
Section 11A. Each employer or other organization which employs or has twenty-five or more employees or members during the full preceding calendar year and which contracts with and contributes to a health maintenance organization for the purpose of providing comprehensive dental benefits to its employees or members, shall, if the health maintenance organization restricts the covered persons in selecting the providers of dental services to a single provider or limited number of providers of dental services, offer its employees and their eligible dependents and members and members' eligible dependents at the time such a contract is offered or renewed, the option of selecting alternative coverage which permits covered persons to obtain dental services from any licensed dentist.
No employer or other organization shall be required to pay for or contribute toward the provision of alternative coverage an amount greater than the premium or cost which it pays or contributes to the health maintenance organization contract which limits the number of providers of dental services.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, if any of the employees of an employer required by paragraph one to offer employees the option of selecting such alternative dental coverage as described in said paragraph are represented by a certified collective bargaining representative, the offer of the option of selecting such alternative coverage as required by said paragraph one shall first be made to such collective bargaining representative. Said representative shall have the right not to accept such offer, thereby exempting the employer from the provisions of this section. If such offer is accepted by such representative, the offer of the option of selecting such alternative coverage shall then be made to each employee. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a union management trust created pursuant to collective bargaining shall, whenever a restricted dental benefits contract as described in paragraph one is proposed, consider offering such alternative dental coverage as described in said paragraph one, provided, however, said trust may offer the dental plan or plans of its choice.
The commissioner shall promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to effectuate the purpose of this section, including procedures for notice to covered persons, employers and other organizations of the provisions of this section.