Putting the Benefit Back into “Benefits”

Like a Monet painting, dental insurance looks great from far way, but as you get closer to it, the details lose their relationship to each other. While insurance may seem like a good idea for all involved, when I really looked at it from all angles, I realized that it wasn’t so great for me or for my patients.

Dental insurance isn’t helping the way we think it is. Let’s take a look at how it impacts you, employers and the 99% of your average patients with average dental needs.

Employers Large or Small:

Businesses offer dental insurance to their employees as part of their benefits packages. Still, how valuable is it? Insurance premiums go up every year, which increases company overhead. As a result, year after year, companies are faced with some unpleasant options:

A. Allocate more of their revenue to pay for employee benefits.

B. Lay off employees to reduce overhead when times get tight.

C. Have the employees share the cost. The last few decades have seen the end of many pension programs and increased employee contributions to healthcare.

Patient Perceptions about Insurance:

The reason insurance is so appealing is that it seems like you’re getting something for almost nothing. After all, when you go to the dentist for routine care, it’s free. Of course, patients are not thinking about what they’re paying each month via payroll deduction. And with many insurance companies, the patient may have to cover 80-90% of costlier procedures. So where exactly is the “benefit” when families are paying over a thousand bucks a year just to cover their preventative care and may have to pay hundreds of dollars on top of that if they need restorations?

How Insurance Impacts You:

One of the biggest problems with dental insurance stems from a lack of understanding – patients expect it to work the same way medical insurance does. When they find out their bridge is going to cost them over $1,000 and that’s with their insurance, usually we’re the ones to shoulder the blame. I’ve actually lost patients over this.

As a dentist, you perform the same work no matter who pays you – insurance or the patients. I thought…what if I could change that? What if there was a way to offer the same service, but keep the revenue in house?

I tested a new system based on improving the business of going to the dentist for patients, employers and dentists. I did away with insurance. I offered pre-paid savings plans in my practice. I reasoned that if I’m providing the service anyway at the same cost to me, and if I can keep the yearly costs the same for my patients, why not keep 100% of the money and offer a solution to their problems and mine? 3 years later, I increased my practice income by 20%. You can too. The logic is simple.

Implement a Win-Win Proposition for Your Practice

The QDP system benefits everyone – businesses, patients and the dental practice. I increased my practice revenue, and additionally, I had something unique to offer new patients. The plan was easy to implement, but the results were profound. After all, every dollar you place in the insurance company’s pocket is on that could go directly to your bottom line.

In light of the issues with dental insurance, there’s a case to be made that other systems can work and that insurance is not the only solution to the problem. I’m proving it now with Quality Dental Plan.

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