According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of Americans haven’t seen a dentist in at least one year.
The most cited reason for not seeing a dentist? Cost.
Some dental practices implement in-office membership plans to help make dental care more affordable and transparent for uninsured patients. The plans are beneficial for dentists and their practices, but patients also benefit from these membership plans.
Here are five specific benefits patients receive from in-office dental membership plans:
Insurance plans are complicated. Membership plans are not insurance. They’re easy-to-understand with transparent pricing. Patients know how much they pay for the plan, which services are included, how much they can expect to pay for additional treatment, and if they’re eligible for any additional discounts. There are no hidden fees.
- No Deductible
With a membership plan, patients don’t have to pay or meet a deductible before their benefits kick in. They also don’t have waiting periods that determine when they can get the care they might need immediately.
- No Annual Maximum Benefit
Just as there is no deductible with membership plans, there is no annual maximum benefit, which means patients are more likely to accept treatment plans above typical insurance plan maximums.
In many cases, patients requiring an extensive treatment plan will save more with a membership plan than they would receive in benefits from a traditional dental insurance plan when you consider downcoding and exclusions.
- No Claims or Prior Authorizations
In-office dental membership plans are designed so the dental practice gets paid directly. Because the plan is offered through the practice and not insurance, there is no need for prior authorizations, and it isn’t necessary to submit insurance claims and wait for them to be processed—and potentially denied.
- Fewer “Emergency” Visits
Because patients are keeping up with routine preventative care, they can receive restorative treatment before it gets to the point of being an emergency dental visit or even worse—an ER visit, which can cost $1,000 or more.
These aren’t the only benefits patients receive from in-office dental membership plans, but they are certainly important ones—especially if a patient recently had dental coverage and is transitioning to the uninsured population. When you have a membership plan already in place to meet your patients’ needs, it’s easy for your existing patients to have peace of mind when they experience life changes.