Take a Walk in Your Uninsured Patient’s Shoes

By Megan Lohman October 17, 2023 2 min read

Imagine going to the grocery store to get everything you need for your family, but nothing has price tags on it. When you get to the cashier, you have no idea how much it will cost. And the cashier is the one who gets to determine how much you’re charged for each item. A banana might be $4.00 for you and only $0.40 for the person behind you. This uncomfortable feeling would certainly discourage regular visits to the grocery store despite the fact you need things. You would probably do everything you could to extend the life of what you already had to avoid going back.

That is the same feeling uninsured patients have every time they walk into a dental office.

Uninsured patients have no clue what they need that day, how much it’s going to cost, or what they should be paying for each service. Often times they are charged a different rate than anyone else that comes in the practice. To the patient there is no rhyme or reason for what they are paying.

Let’s go back to the grocery store. Take this same scenario – nothing has price tags on it – but this time they advertise each cart costs $100. You can confidently go in and fill up your cart for $100. Imagine the relief and peace of mind that this kind of predictability would give you as a consumer. You know you’re getting what you need, and you know exactly how much it is going to cost.

This is what a dental membership plan does for your uninsured patients. Membership plans give your patients peace of mind, predictability, and most of all, better health because they know what to expect. They are choosing to join your preventive care plan that covers everything they need (remember, you designed the plan) for a transparent fee. They opt in, so they show up.

I know….you’re going to say I don’t want to give discounts to people already paying my full fees. Well they might be paying your full fees but I promise you they are not coming in every six months. It’s easy to test this. Do a random audit of your uninsured patients. Not the patients you know best off the top of your head, but a random sample of 50 patients. See how many cleanings they’ve had in the last two years. It might surprise you how much missed revenue you have just sitting in your practice because your full-fee patients are choosing to spread out those cleanings 9, 12 or even 24 months to avoid the unknown bill.

This is just one of the many, many reasons why membership plans make so much sense for your practice and your patients. Check out What are the Business Benefits of a Dental Membership Plan? next.

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