Employer dental benefits are no longer a nice add-on, but instead an expectation of many employees. Some patients will stay with your practice in spite of their dental benefits, but many more will flock to your office specifically because of your participation in a certain plan or provider. While the majority of employees believe that dental coverage is a must-have benefit, less than half of employees indicate that they actually understand what the benefits that they have mean. As a dental practice, it is your responsibility to understand employer dental benefits and what your patients do and don’t know about them.
Your Patients Care About Employer Dental Benefits
Employees throughout the country care about having access to dental benefits, regardless of whether or not they utilize them. That pushes many employers to offer dental benefits, even if the benefits are not very good or expansive. Currently, many employees are suffering from a chronic misunderstanding of benefits due to insufficient information from employers. 65% of consumers want employers to provide basic information about what is covered by the benefits offered. Over half would like employers to provide a list of local in-network dentists on paper or online. The problem gets worse as patients get older, as only 34% of Baby Boomers think that employers offer sufficient information about dental benefits.
You Can Bridge the Gap
Some dentists will read the statistics above and pass off blame on the employer for not providing enough information, but the best dentists will see that as an opportunity for educating and winning over patients. It’s understandable that patients would be confused with so many plans and providers available, and with so little information provided to patients. When you speak with patients, you should take time to make it clear what procedures are covered and not covered. You should also put in the effort to explain exactly why an uncovered procedure is necessary. Many people equate “not covered” to “not necessary,” which can lead to permanent damage to oral health.
Prepare to Educate Your Patients
Educating patients is a whole-office effort, so everyone in your office should be prepared to answer patient questions about employer dental benefits. These questions could be simple, like why a plan doesn’t cover 100% of the cost of a cleaning, or more complex, like why an insurance provider changed a suggested treatment to something less expensive. Putting time into patient education can make the difference between patients who are at your practice because of employer dental benefits and patients who are at your practice because of your expertise.
Understand Employer Dental Benefits with APEX
The experts at APEX Reimbursement Specialists can help you to explore the best insurance carrier options for your continued growth and sustained success. Contact our team today by calling (410) 710-6005. We look forward to working with you to make your practice a more profitable place.