Retirees & Membership Plans: How & Why They Add Value to Your Practice

It’s no secret that reaching millennials is an important part of any marketing strategy. In the near future, millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest adult population. But millennials aren’t the only group who would benefit from your attention.

According to a recent study, only 12 percent of older Americans have some form of dental insurance. Out of that 12 percent, fewer than half visited a dentist in the past year due to high out-of-pocket costs. The reason for this lapse in care is that most retirees are Medicare beneficiaries, and Medicare does not cover dental health.

This leaves a staggering 49 million senior citizens with no dental insurance. And the worst part is, they’re the ones who need you most.

How Retirees Benefit Your Practice

Their needs go beyond routine care: Common oral health problems in adults over 60 include xerostomia (dry mouth), tooth loss, tooth decay, gum disease, gum recession, oral cancer, bad breath, and poor denture care, to name a few. Diagnosing and treating these issues activates trust, and when they trust you, they’ll come to you with all their oral health needs.

They’re more likely to engage in cosmetic dentistry: For many of us, the way we look effects the way we feel. is vital to self-esteem. For the elderly, maintaining their physical appearance is vital to their self-esteem.

You’re opening yourself up to a strong network of referrals: If you’re able to help your patients feel good about themselves as they age, you’re showing their caregivers and family members that you’re good at what you do.

How Membership Plans Benefit Retiree Patients

Membership plans mean transparent pricing: For patients on a fixed income, financial transparency might be the deciding factor in whether or not they accept treatment. With dental membership plans, retirees know exactly how much their treatment costs and have the added stability of receiving additional treatments they might need at a discount.

They get the care they need, when they need it: Paperwork and insurance company hassles can prolong the waiting period before treatment. For retirees, dental care usually can’t wait. In fact, waiting too long is often dangerous to their immediate health. By offering your elderly patients an in-house dental savings plan, you’re helping them get the care they need as soon as they need it.

No spending limits and immediate treatment mean long-term savings: Since retirees are more likely to need their dental insurance more often, they might surpass the spending limit before it renews. The great thing about dental membership plans is that there are no spending limits and dental emergencies are always covered at a discount. Also, since membership plans allow patients to accept treatment immediately, short-term issues are less likely to become long-term problems.

How to Attract Retirees with Dental Savings Plans

Talk to their caregivers: Many retirees have caregivers who schedule their necessary medical appointments. Reaching out to caregivers or caregiving agencies is a great way to build awareness of how your plan can help the person under their care.

Go where your patients are most likely to be: Build relationships with your local retirement homes, nursing homes, assisted living centers, and even gyms! A lot of gyms have silver sneaker programs for retirees who want to maintain their physical fitness. Since their dental health is a major part of their physical health, you’d be surprised how many elderly gym-goers would jump at the opportunity to keep up with their oral hygiene.

Remember: Retirees actually read their mail!: Thanks to digital media, it’s often said that print advertising is dead; for the elderly, the opposite is often true. While direct mail might not grab the attention of your millennial patients, a postcard with a memorable image is a great way to build awareness among retirees.