Dealing with dental insurance is a daily reality for most dental offices. Unfortunately, dental offices have had confused approaches to dental insurance since its inception.
Many still consider it entirely the patient’s responsibility, and I can understand why. It’s confusing and not fun to navigate. But if you take the time to guide your patients through their insurance, you will be helping them and your practice.
Earn with dental insurance
It can seem daunting to deal with dental insurance, but in today’s competitive environment, you can’t afford to give up. Today’s patients expect a lot more from their dentist. They want the firms to be responsible for their programming, their treatment, and insurance cover. If you don’t provide all of these services, another practice will. The good news is that helping with dental insurance can be a win-win situation for you and your patients.
Follow these three steps to earn with dental insurance.
Educate all patients in practice about their insurance plans
We recommend that you provide your patients with a simple brochure that explains what dental insurance is, what is usually covered, what is not usually covered, how co-payments work and that the plan is a contract between the insurance company and the employer.
Be sure to pair the brochure with a conversation that helps patients understand the realities of dental insurance and shift responsibility for what’s not covered away from the dental office and on the responsible party, the insurance company. This conversation and this booklet should be given to each new patient as part of their practice orientation.
Help patients understand the practice’s policy on co-payments
Firms have different policies for user fees. Some practices require full payment in advance, others require co-payment in advance, and others require co-payment only after receiving insurance reimbursement. While all of this can be done, we recommend that you collect copayments up front and then bill the insurance company for their share. Whatever your policy, be sure to educate the patients. If you wish to collect a co-payment on the first visit, this must be clearly indicated before the day on which the co-payment is due.
Become an advocate for your patients
Do everything you can to help your patients get the most from their insurance benefits. Check benefit coverage during each patient’s initial visit and submit their dental insurance application to help them get the maximum reimbursement they are entitled to.
Dealing with dental insurance doesn’t have to be a losing proposition. Use these three strategies to help your patients understand and get the most from their self-confidence.