Congratulations on deciding to add a dental savings plan to your practice! Incorporating a dental discount plan is a great service and asset for your patients looking for affordable dental insurance or alternatives to traditional coverage.
Your choice to offer this service will benefit your dental business as a whole, while also being helpful to your patients. Depending on where you live, national averages are around $300 annually to join a private dental discount plan and include (2) exams, (2) cleanings, necessary x-rays and additional discounts (the average is 15% off) on other services completed in the office. That’s around half of the price to an individual compared to insurance premiums. These discounts make in-house plans look much more attractive, especially to people not familiar with them.
Take into Consideration:
- Where your practice is located – will patients be able to afford higher priced plans?
- Who is this plan for – Children, Adults, Elderly? Your price point should reflect what this person (or guardian) can pay at this point in their life-cycle
- Buy In – If you price your plan too high, or higher than what offices in your area are offering, you might not get the most ideal results
- How much this will cost your practice – having a price point too low may end up hurting your practice in the long run.
- Types of plans – most plans cover all preventative for healthy mouths. However, you may want to consider offering a second plan for patients with periodontal disease, as these type of cleanings require more production time and should be price higher.
- What will the plan include – Most successful plans incentive patients to move forward with treatment plans by offering discounts on other services, like restorative. Most offices choose to exclude ortho treatment from these discounts as it can truly hurt profit.
Benefit #1 – Savings for Patients
Dental plans for seniors, families, and millennials are growing in popularity because of the stagnant coverage seen through traditional insurance policies. The average insurance premium ranges from $15-$50 per month for an individual, which is about $180-$600 per year. In most cases your patient will save on monthly costs from a policy. But ideally, you’ll drive and retain new patient that do not have access to dental insurance and incentivize them to follow through with treatment plans with predictable costs and membership discounts.
As always, we recommend speaking with an insurance attorney well before implementing your savings plan, as each state must abide by their own laws and regulations (and dental discount plans are often considered a type of affordable dental insurance.)
Benefit # 2 – Cut Out the PPO
With an in-house savings plan, there’s no need to worry about what a PPO will (or won’t) pay on your patient’s procedures. Keep in mind to avoid issues with insurance companies, your savings plan discount for services should be lower than insurance discounts. For most dentists, this will be around 10-15% off of the regular fee.
Additionally, patients can be seen and treated right away since they don’t have to wait for pre-approvals and there are also no maximums. You team also saves a ton of man-power by bypassing insurance companies and collecting fee-for-service upfront prior to treatment. Also, by offering an in-house plan your patient is much more likely to come in for recall treatment (since they’ve already paid for it) and remain loyal to your office.
Benefit #3 – Save Time in the Office
Affordable dental insurance alternatives like in-house savings plans completely eliminate the need to file claims and wait for reimbursement (which consequently cut down on collections.) Rather, your patients know exactly how much the procedure costs with their discounted membership plan, without any “estimates” on deductibles, maximums, allowances, and reimbursements. This saves time both for your staff and your patients, as no follow up is needed once the procedure is over and paid for.
Benefit #4 – Increase New Patient Flow
Nearly half of Americans don’t have dental insurance which makes many of them more reluctant to make their two visits to the dentist each year. One of the biggest factors to skip the visit is price. Having a plan that is easy for patients to understand and fairly priced makes it much more attractive. Price your plan so that it can easily be compared to insurance policies including fee schedule and premiums vs. membership fees. You’ll find the better educated your prospective patients are, the higher new patient influx you’ll likely experience.
Benefit #5 – Boost Case Acceptance
How often do you wait on predeterminations before scheduling a procedure? In-house dental plans provide specific fees both for patients and staff, making the treatment plan as a whole much easier for everyone to understand. You’ll find that the less confused your patients are about the cost of their care, the better chance there is for them to move forward with treatment. Once enrolled in a savings plan, patients are more likely to invest into continuing care if incentized by a discount.
Benefit #6 – Improve Patient Loyalty
Affordable dental care is a valuable commodity, especially in today’s economy. Providing an immediate discount that’s even more significant than alternative insurance plans — backed by high quality care — is essential for patient retention and loyalty. As your non-insured patients experience the difference for themselves, they’ll be more apt to refer their friends and family while also continuing to return for ongoing care.
Whether you choose to have a one-time joiner fee with immediate access to discounts or an annual charge that includes all basic preventative services is up to you. But incorporating the savings in a way that’s easy for patients to understand is the most important pricing detail of all!
Whether you’re planning your membership or already have a robust savings plan – reach out to DentalStores to learn more about how you can automate payments, bundle home-care and manage all of your patients from one place.
To learn more about dental savings plans and how you can offer your own in-house membership visit DentalStores.com