Common patient concerns on dental insurance and how to address them

When the time comes for a visit to the dentist, patients are frequently concerned if their insurance will cover the cost.

If their insurance doesn’t meet their needs, patients can forego treatment. It can be important that you can readily address their concerns and explain how dental insurance works.

Here are some common insurance questions and some ideas on how to tackle them:

  1. “Why doesn’t my dental insurance cover all expenses?”
    It’s important to explain that dental insurance isn’t the same as other insurance. Patients are often quick to compare dental to medical insurance, and assume that a specific treatment is unnecessary if their insurance provider does not cover it. You may need to explain that this is not the case and that a treatment may be important to their oral health even if not fully/or partially covered by their insurance plan.
  2. “Do I really need dental insurance?”
    If you do have patients who are not on an employer plan, they may ask if they even need insurance. You should explain the benefits of being on a plan, such as access to provider networks, coverage for routine visits, and discounted prices for major treatments.
  3. “What type of plan should I get?”
    Be ready to explain the different types of plans, such as the PPO, HMO, and Indemnity plans. You could explain that the major difference between these options is that both PPO and Indemnity plans allow the patient to receive care outside the preferred network, while HMO is solely inside the network.
  4. “Should I go ahead with this treatment even if my insurance doesn’t cover it?”
    You may need to explain to some patients that forgoing appropriate treatment risks long-term negative effects, including losing teeth and future pain or discomfort.