Recent statistics have stated that roughly one out of every two Americans lacks dental insurance coverage.
It has been proven that having dental insurance makes dental patients visit their dentist more often for treatment.
According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, patients who do not have dental insurance are approximately two-thirds less likely to have visited their dentist within the past year, compared with those who have dental insurance coverage.
But do these statistic tell the whole story on dental insurance?
The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists what percentage of their dental patients still carry dental insurance.
One general dentist responded, “We will file for all our patients but are not in network with any insurance companies. I see about 50% of patients with insurance.”
The dentists reported the following percentages of patients with insurance —
- 29% — 50 – 70% of patients have dental insurance
- 26% — 70 – 90% of patients have dental insurance
- 18% — Less than 50% of patients have dental insurance
- 13% — 90 – 95% of patients have dental insurance
- 08% — Don’t accept dental insurance
- 06% — Answered “other”
How dentists feel about dental insurance is another matter and here’s what they told The Wealthy Dentist in their survey responses —
“I hate dental insurance!” (Alabama dentist)
“Taking dental insurance allowances is a recipe for financial failure. Just look at the numbers.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
“Dental insurance? Bah humbug!” (Virginia oral surgeon)
“Dental insurance is detrimental to dental patients and practices.” (Texas dentist)
“Many of our patients know most dental insurances stink as far as reimbursement amounts and yearly maximums, yet 70% of them still carry dental insurance. It’s a huge factor around here.” (Ohio prosthodontist)
“We don’t accept dental insurance as a form of payment, but we will fill out their forms so they can get paid. Some insurance companies will then send a payment to us and we have to reimburse the patient.” (Illinois dentist)
“Dental insurance: love it/hate it, but so it goes.” (General dentist)
“There is a definite reduction in companies who are willing to provide dental plans and a definite move by patients to either drop their coverage or to seek out a dentist in their network.” (Texas dentist)
“Dental insurance creates more problems than it solves.” (California” dentist)
“We are not a preferred provider for anyone, but accept any insurance that allows out of network dentists. We do charge the patient the difference between our fees and what the insurance pays.” (General dentist)
“Regardless of our profession’s exhortations regarding lifelong dental health, the fact is that many people would never visit a dentist if they didn’t have dental insurance. The idea of “free” services is their motivation. If they had to pay the full cost, they wouldn’t visit the dentist at all.” (California dentist)
The Wealthy Dentist agrees with the last statement by a California dentist. Patients who have some type of dental health plan are more likely to return regularly to your dental practice and accept treatment recommendations.
This results in your dental practice having more active cases and fewer inactive patients, thus increasing your practice bottom line over time, which makes you more profits in the long run.