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On the Road with Dr. Levin: In-house dental insurance plans—a win-win

March 26, 2018
In this new bimonthly column, Roger Levin, DDS, reports on trends he's seeing as he travels across the country speaking to dentists and members of the dental industry. Here he discusses the rising interest in "insurance" plans—or more accurately, discount plans—among dentists and dental office managers.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Editor's note: In this new bimonthly column, Roger Levin, DDS, reports on trends he's seeing as he travels across the country speaking to dentists and members of the dental industry.

As I travel the country presenting seminars, I'm getting a lot more questions from doctors about in-house "insurance plans," and it’s not surprising. Access to dental insurance is often the single biggest factor in a person’s decision to visit the dentist or accept dental treatment. For people with comprehensive dental insurance, going to the dentist is a no-brainer. However, in this era of economic uncertainty, dental visits may not be routine for the increasing number of Americans who face decreasing levels of dental coverage or worse—no coverage at all. For them, going to the dentist is only a priority when there is a problem. Sometimes it’s not an option at all and they’ll grin and bear the pain to avoid costly payments. So, it’s no wonder that dentists are looking to explore in-house insurance plans. They are fast becoming an attractive option for patients looking for better coverage and lower costs and for dentists seeking to retain patients and increase case acceptance.

When considering this type of plan for your practice, it helps to think of it as more of a discount plan rather than an insurance plan. In fact, dental practices aren’t even allowed to mention the word "insurance" in their plan description. Most standard dental discount plans are set up to provide twice yearly cleanings and discounts for both required and elective treatments at an annual fee that’s often lower than most traditional insurance plans. Patients under this type of in-house discount plan will also benefit from being free of yearly maximums, deductibles, claim forms, preauthorization requirements, pre-existing conditions limitations, and waiting periods.

Keep in mind that there are unique state-by-state regulations and requirements that differ in regard to plan offerings, grace periods for refunds, and so on. Prior to setting up your plan, you may wish to investigate companies such as Dental-HQ for information on launching your own in-house dental plan. Whether you establish your own in-house plan or work with an existing provider, you’ll see that the benefits are clear. Your patients will have access to a simple low-cost dental plan that guarantees yearly preventive dental maintenance and discount treatments, and you’ll have an added service to help attract and retain patients. An in-house dental plan is a win-win for your practice and your patients.

Dr. Roger Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and CEO of Levin Group Inc., a leading dental management and marketing consulting firm. To learn more about the company’s training and consulting services, visit

Additional articles by Roger Levin, DDS

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Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions.

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