The “End of the Year Insurance Letter”
Maximizing Insurance Benefits
Studies show that people who have dental insurance benefits visit the dentist more often than those who do not. Another year is drawing to a close and the holiday season is coming upon us. It is time to send out the “use it or lose it” insurance letter.
Sending it out now allows the patient to schedule ahead and reserve the time that best meets their needs and allows the dental office to get a picture of what will be needed for the scheduling in days ahead. The insurance letter should address the dates that the office will be closed or any change of the regular hours during the holiday season. Patients are often disappointed to learn that you are closed when they are available to come in. College students will be home and schools will be closed. This is a good time to come to see the dentist for routine visits and any necessary restorative.
If you are on the PPO network, you may want to do your homework and determine which of your insurance plans pay on the seat date versus the prep date. You do not want to be caught delivering crowns in January that were prepped in December when you need to use up those 2007 benefits.
Print the unscheduled treatment list including any pre-determined dental claims and start calling these patients. Many will appreciate the concern. Take a look at last year’s production for November and December. Were you able to meet the needs of patients who wanted to come in? If not, you may want to add hygiene or doctor days to accommodate patients requesting appointments. Tune up your ASAP list or Tickler File for patients who may want to come in at the last moment. The holiday season usually marks the beginning of the flu season so be prepared for schedule fall-out.
Patients with larger treatment cases can use both yearly benefits by coordinating the preparation and delivery times to crossover to the next year. As a courtesy, put together some temporary cement kits for patients who will be in temporaries over the holidays. If you will be out of the area over the holidays, inform the patient as to who will be on call and give them the contact information.
To help you get started, the following is a sample of the letter:
Don’t Forget to Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits Before the Year is Over
Dear Valued Patient,
Another year has flown by and I want to say thank-you for your trust and confidence in my dental practice. Many patients do not realize that the dental benefits they have will not rollover into the New Year. If you do not use those plan benefit dollars you will lose them. For instance, if your plan allows you to have $1500 for 2007 and you have used $700.00—you will lose $800.00 if it is not applied to dental services by the end of December. The cost of these benefits is on the rise and many employers are cutting back on benefits. It makes sense to use every dollar that you are entitled to and for which you have paid. If you have a Health Savings Account or a cafeteria plan, you may want to use these benefits also.
Our goal is to assist you and your family in obtaining optimum dental health and saving money too. You don’t have to start the treatment now, but it is wise to schedule the time that you request before the “rush” begins. The end of the year is busy so give us a call today to reserve the best time for you.
Dr. Stanley Goodbrush
Some informational brochures about services and products offered in your practice can accompany this letter. You may even want to offer a holiday special on teeth whitening kits or electric brushes.
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