According to a 2012 report, only about 60% of Americans had dental insurance in 2012. The figure has now jumped to 77%, according to a report published in 2017. This huge increase shows how more and more people are opting for dental coverage, which is why a growing number of dentists now accept dental insurance.
The increasing cost of dental treatments and people’s growing understanding of the importance of dental insurance is making people opt for dental insurance.
Most people avoid going to the dentist. While some have dental phobia, some are not willing to pay the fee. In fact, about 56% of people without dental insurance like to skip preventive dental treatment.
While there’s no way for dentists to convince such people to pay for a visit to a dental office, except for highlighting the importance of doing so, they do have the option to cater to people with an insurance plan.
What is Dental Insurance?
It’s a form of insurance that covers dental treatment. It’s just like a health insurance plan but only covers your teeth.
It should be mentioned that dental insurance typically only covers a portion of care and may not include all the procedures.
It typically only pays for procedures that are necessary to save a tooth and will not cover procedures such as teeth whitening since they’re considered cosmetic with little to no role to play in a tooth’s functionality.
Why Patients Love Dental Insurance
It’s quite obvious why. An insurance plan puts less pressure on the patient’s pocket. They have little to worry about when it comes to the finances because the insurance company will be dealing with it.
This is why patients are usually on the lookout for a dental practice that accepts insurances.
Why Should I Accept Dental Insurance?
About 249.1 million Americans have some form of dental coverage. Those with insurance will not go to a dental practice that does not accept dental insurance simply because… why pay when you don’t have to pay?
By not accepting dental insurance, you’re losing on all these potential clients. While it’s true that some procedures are not covered under dental insurance, the fact is that dentistry is largely a service-based profession.
Most people want to find a good dentist and stick to him or her. They don’t prefer to change their dentist from time to time as it takes them a while to get comfortable with a dentist and they’d like to remain loyal to one.
Benefits of Accepting Insurance
Only a dentist can explain the benefits of accepting dental insurance. We spoke with Dr. Patrick Healy, to discuss the impact of accepting dental insurance. Here’s what he had to say:
- A Way to Market Your Business: You can use dental insurance to market your business. Think about online marketing here. Many patients search for terms like ‘dentist with dental insurance’ and ‘dental insurance dentist’.
You’re more likely to rank for such keywords if you accept dental insurance and have it mentioned on your website. In fact, your dental SEO agency will also explain the benefits of including such keywords.
- More Patients: You’ll be able to target more customers if you accept insurance. People who have insurance are more inclined to visit a dentist, but they only look for one who accepts dental insurance.
- A Professional Image: Dentists who accept dental insurance are considered more professional. This can help build your image and improve your goodwill.
- References: It can help you get more references, not just from your patients but from insurance companies as well.
Merely Accepting Insurance Isn’t Enough
According to Dr. Kwon, “Most dentists stay away from insurance due to the hassles involved.”
You’ll have to file claims and deal with insurance companies when you accept insurance. This may be too much for some. “However, you shouldn’t let this stop you since the outcome is worth it,” suggests Dr. Kwon.
If you have decided to accept insurance, then offer additional services and deal with the insurance company on your patient’s behalf. Patients don’t just want a dentist who accepts dental insurance, they want a dentist who’s willing to go the extra mile for them by making the procedure easier for them.
Since about 80% of dentists operate their own business, they have to make this decision. Think about the benefits of accepting dental insurance and consider the impact it can have on your bottom line.