Fluoride Action Network

SmileDirect sues big insurer over coverage denials

Source: Nashville Post (Tennessee) | By Geert De Lombaerde
Posted on July 7th, 2020
Industry type: Delta Dental

Also: AAC looks to break leases via bankruptcy

SmileDirectClub executives have filed lawsuits against two Delta Dental plans over the insurance carriers’ alleged reluctance to cover teledentistry services.

The complaints by Nashville-based SmileDirect, which has been aggressive in court over other licensing and intellectual property matters, say Delta Dental affiliates based in Illinois and California are acting in bad faith and breaching their responsibilities as an insurer by not covering clear aligner services their policies say they should.

“Delta Dental continues to deny claims from consumers who have paid for insurance coverage,” said Susan Greenspon Rammelt, SmileDirect’s chief legal officer. “Their actions are entirely contradictory to the growing need and demand for telehealth, especially amid a global pandemic where millions have relied upon remote, digital care.”

Representatives for the Delta Dental plans did not respond to requests for comment. SmileDirect says other large insurers are covering patients’ use of its services.

Executives of and attorneys for AAC Holdings are asking a Delaware bankruptcy judge to let them out of a dozen leases for space where they previously ran various outpatient addiction treatment programs.

In a recent filing under its Chapter 11 case, Brentwood-based AAC says it is no longer using various spaces in Nevada, Florida, California and Louisiana. The company consolidated the operations located at those places into other locations last year as part of cuts that generated more than $30 million in annualized savings.

AAC executives declined to specify how many square feet the leases in question cover or how much their terminations might save the company.

As part of their Chapter 11 filing late last month, CEO Andrew McWilliams and his team said they had secured more than $60 million in new funding commitments and are seeking to significantly trim their debts of more than $515 million in the coming months.

*Original article online at https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/health-care/article/21139441/smiledirect-sues-big-insurer-over-coverage-denials