Dental Practice Managment Editorial: In This Economy, Even Dental Insurance Patients Look Good!

In This Economy, Even Dental Insurance Patients Look Good

A recent study commissioned by Delta Dental finds that 60% of American consumers have dental insurance. The same study shows that 29% pay for their dental care out-of-pocket.

But what about the remaining 11%? Well, it appears that one in nine adults think they can sidestep the issue by never going to the dentist.

Caught in a financial tug-of-war, dentists have a love/hate relationship with dental insurance companies. Insurance providers regularly raise patients’ monthly premiums, but rarely (if ever) raise the actual patient benefit and only increase claims to your through after a prolonged struggle. And of course, a benefit of a thousand dollars a year bought a lot more dental care back in 1960 than it does today.

Some practices have given up on the insurance game completely; a recent Wealthy Dentist survey showed that 11% of dentists no longer accept dental insurance of any kind. However, most practices still depend on insurance companies as a source of new patients.

Take It or Leave It

We could complain about it all day long, but it’s not going to do much good. Dentists have two basic choices when it comes to dental insurance: take it or leave it. Dropping insurances is satisfying for many doctors, but it’s a difficult transition that’s not feasible for all practices — particularly not in today’s economic climate!

If your practice accepts insurance, it’s important to make sure you’re getting as much out of the deal as you can. Remember, two-thirds of the people getting dental care have dental insurance! That’s a huge pool of potential new dental patients.

The Delta survey also shows that 82% of people with dental insurance are covered under an employer’s plan. In addition, fully 88% of those employers pay all or part of their employees’ monthly premiums. So three out of four people with insurance aren’t even paying for all of it.

Get Your Share

But how many of these consumers are actually using all their dental benefits? While the Delta survey doesn’t mention any numbers, you can be certain that lots of consumers are letting their dental benefits go to waste.

So who’s going to remind these patients that they’re eligible for all sorts of free or subsidized dental care? Well, it probably won’t be their dental insurance companies!

That’s where your dental practice comes in. How many insurance patients does your practice have? How many of them haven’t been in lately? Now that it’s January, how many of them now have access to a year’s worth of benefits? How much money could you make if these patients came in for care?

Bringing insurance patients in is as simple as reminding them that they’re covered. But if you don’t remind them, they can easily fall by the wayside. And in today’s economy, can you afford to lose such a reliable stream of patients?

Next week we’ll discuss exactly how you can remind these patients of their dental benefits and inspire them to make an appointment.

Read Delta’s survey results

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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