Finding what works for your practice is a constant process based on a series of factors. What kind of practice are you? Who is your patient base? etc. One consideration you will need to decide on is if you will do dental membership plans or dental insurance. We reached out to Brad James who is the Director of Partner Development at Kleer. He helped us answer some questions for you regarding Dental Membership Plans Vs. Dental Insurance.
How does a dentist assess if their practice should have a dental membership plan vs. dental insurance?
These are the points he made:
- Most dentist have between 20-30% uninsured active patients.
- Many practices have boomers retiring and losing benefits.
- Millennials coming off parents benefits at age 26 provide another great opportunity to provide coverage that is good for patients and your practice.
- Fee for Service practices can use membership plans to get patients to visit more often and be more compliant.
What is an in-house dental membership plan?
"Membership plans are dental care plans that dentist offer directly to their patients. Patients pay an annual or monthly subscription directly to your practice for preventive care and discounts off other treatment. These plans eliminate the cost and hassle of an insurance middleman enabling patients to get the oral care they need at an affordable price while empowering dentists to run a successful, profitable practice."
Do you recommend one or the other? If so which one and why?
"A practice does not have to pick between being in network with insurance or offering a membership plan. In fact, unless a practice is completely fee-for-service, most practices offer both a membership plan and they're in network with insurance. The only scenario where something like this makes sense is if you're asking the practice if they would rather recommend that an uninsured gets individual insurance or if they join the practice's membership plan.
The answer would be the membership plan. Individual insurance (or a discount plan) does not cover enough for patient care and gives low reimbursement rates back to the dentist. A membership plan is better because it eliminates the middleman (insurance/discount plans) so the patient gets a better deal and the practice receives full profit for the patient's treatment accepted."
What are the pros and cons of having a dental membership plan?
Brad separated between the pros and cons for a practice and for a patient below:
For a practice:
- Design your own membership plan, with your own fee schedule, and offer it directly to your uninsured patients
- Increase uninsured patient loyalty and visits while improving their oral health
- Convert your hygiene department into a profitable, recurring subscription business
- Increase uninsured patient treatment acceptance and revenue by 50%
- Increase the value of your practice by 50-100%, without adding new patients
- Provide a dental care plan to your retired, dormant, and uninsured patients in your area
- Attract new uninsured patients
For a patient:
- Simple, affordable, comprehensive dental care
- Get dental coverage in less than 2 minutes
- Transparent pricing for all procedures
- Manage your dental health anytime & anywhere
- All the benefits without all the hassle
- Safe & secure
What are the pros and cons of not having one and using dental insurance?
"Dental insurers generate $75 billion of revenue each year. Only 60% goes to patient care, so approximately $30 billion is being drained annually."
What software would you recommend using for a practice's dental membership plan?
"We recommend using Kleer because we're free to implement and launch -- there are no start up fees. Our success team will proactively work with the office administrator to make sure the front office team is receiving the best training, tips, & recommendations. Our support team provides an excellent customer experience for patients and front office teams. They can be reached by live chat, phone, or email. We offer marketing templates and in-office materials are included to help practices market their plans. Our platform is updated every 2 weeks to promote an optimal user experience.
Is there anything on this subject we didn’t review that dentists need to know?
"For your uninsured patients, Kleer can help you:
- Increase treatment acceptance and revenue by 50%
- Increase the value of your practice by 50%-100%, without adding new patients
- Convert your hygiene department into a profitable subscription business
- Increase visits and improve your patients’ oral health"
We hope this interview brought some clarity in your decision making process on what kind of dental membership plan you'd like to offer or dental insurance. The goal to keep in mind is what will best serve your patients without sacrificing the profitability of your business.
For more information on how Kleer can help you and your practice you can reach out to them here: firstname.lastname@example.org.