Are In-House Dental Plans Right for Your Practice?
Numbers don’t lie and that is why they matter in deciding what is right for your practice. Most adults in the United States do not have dental insurance. There are few options for affordable care. If you practice in a demographic where there is lower income, blue collar or middle-class patient base, you may want to consider an in-house dental plan especially if most of your patients do not have employer sponsored dental insurance.
The in-house plan is a written agreement that the patient may receive a reduction in fees for certain services rendered. It could be a set amount pre-paid for a specific set of dental services such as a preventive package (Prophy, Evaluation, 4 BWX) twice a year for a 30% reduction in fee. The practice has control over the price and services included in each plan and may customize the plan for each patient.
The purpose of the in-house plan is to be able to offer patients access to care that they normally would not be able to afford. A Family Plan would he of huge benefit to families with children.
Some plans may offer a Membership Discount Card that is paid at the beginning of the cycle and allows for a set discount amount on specific services over the membership year.
Procedures that involve complex treatment or referral to specialists in phase treatment should not be included in the in-house or membership type plans because of the variances in treatment modalities.
Stick to diagnostic, preventive and basic services for you in-house discount plans. The benefits would be an increase in new patients, increase in hygiene appointments and case acceptance.
Please do not become a lender and grant credit to patients that cannot get third party funding for large cases.
This may be an option for you if your practice needs to be able to offer affordable care to the uninsured.
NOTE: In some states in-house plans and pre-paid plans may conflict with the State Insurance Commissioner’s laws. Check with the state dental board or dental society attorney before implementing these types of plans.