What is the Magic Number For A Membership Plan?

By Megan Lohman April 7, 2021 2 min read

Three oooOOOHHHhhh it’s the magic number… yeah it is….. it’s the magic…. wait, wrong lesson!! (Couldn’t resist!! Love School House Rock AND Blind Melon)

In all seriousness. We often talk to dentists who are curious about membership plans and realize there is a need for them. The problem, they can’t quite pinpoint the right time to implement one. The mysterious question they’re trying to answer is, “What is the magic number of uninsured patients I need for a membership plan to make sense?”

One. One patient makes sense.

Now, if I were to say that I would lose them (and you) immediately so let me explain.

When the plan is done right, a membership patient is more profitable than any insured patient that walks through your door. In 2019, Dr. Flannagan’s uninsured patients spent an average of $172 per patient. Membership patients spent an average of $515 each. Treatment acceptance increases with membership patients because there are no limitations in coverage. There are no third party decision makers getting in the way! Just the dentist and their patient.

The plan keeps that patient at your practice and eliminates the need for the patient to look elsewhere for dental benefits. Dental membership plans increase patient retention in a practice. What every patient wants from their dentist is quality dental care at an affordable and easy to understand price, no cost confusion and no surprises.

These patients are also MUCH easier to work with from an administrative point of view. Remember above when we mentioned no limitations in coverage? No more prior authorizations either. De-stress your team by decreasing PPOs in your practice.

Insurance plan reimbursement rates are declining while administration overhead needed to manage the insurance plans is increasing. We wanted to develop a program that would benefit our patients and help us dilute the dominance of dental insurance plans on our business. After the first successful year I can confidently say our plan worked and Plan Forward was instrumental in helping us achieve our objectives.

Scott Hicks, Business Manager

There literally is no downside. Why wouldn’t you want this? Wouldn’t anyone want something to retain loyal, uninsured patients?

Consider this, when the plan is simple for the patient to understand and you’re saving them money, it becomes a no-brainer. The patient should be evaluating whether to pay full price today, or join your plan and pay about half that amount. It is not your job to “sell” the plan, it’s simply your job to have the plan available, present the information, and allow them to join if they see value.

If this seems like a massive undertaking to get a plan put in place, please give us a call. We’d be glad to tell you how simple it can be. You show up with your standard fee list and an open mind and let us do the rest!

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