Patients Unwilling to Switch Dentists Proved a Myth
A recent Delta Dental study of 15,000 consumers indicated that more than 55% of respondents would change their dentist in order to lower their monthly premium.
And it’s not limited to dentists; this trend has been seen in the general health insurance market too.
Why? It’s simple – cost.
Our research shows that when given a choice, consumers would accept a slightly lower annual maximum, forego optional coverage, or cost-share on services that occur less frequently to save money. Our business experience and historical data confirms this. In fact, one of the most significant cost-drivers of a plan’s premium comes from covering very infrequent services at a high coinsurance.
However, these options are sometimes not discussed or addressed due to a presumed fear of consumer dissention with having to change dentists.
So, what do these trends in consumer preference mean for dental benefits and the insurance industry?
We think it could be as simple as having a conversation with your agent or Delta Dental. Instead of plan coverage being replicated from the previous year’s offering, plans should be reviewed more closely to see where savings could be made. Limiting your review to a spreadsheet comparison may not tell you the complete picture. For our example, Delta Dental’s CheckUp Plus™ benefit can’t be measured with this approach. CheckUp Plus™ lets enrollees obtain dental services including routine exams, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride, sealants, space maintainers, and other services without reducing the member’s plan-year individual annual maximum.
Delta Dental of Wisconsin delivers greater effective network discounts. With the strength of our Delta Dental PPO and Delta Dental Premier network providers, our members save money and don’t need to feel limited. If you’re looking for a new dentist, check out our provider search and find a dentist that’s right for you.
What do you think about this new trend? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below to share your thoughts.
Rick Zupan is the manager of small group and individual plans at Delta Dental of Wisconsin.
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