Dentists Chip Away at Uninsured Problem by Offering Patients Membership Plans

(By Phil Galewitz for Kaiser Health News)

Nevada dentist David White has seen diseased and rotted teeth in the mouths of patients who routinely put off checkups and avoided minor procedures such as fillings. While dental phobia is a factor, White said, the overriding reason people avoid treatment is cost.

To help patients lacking dental insurance, White in 2019 started offering a membership plan that looks much like an insurance policy — except it’s good only at his offices in Reno and Elko. Adults pay $29 a month — or $348 a year — and receive two free exams, two cleanings, X-rays and an emergency exam, services valued at $492. They also get a 20% discount on office procedures such as fillings and extractions.

About 250 of White’s patients have signed up, and it’s led many to visit more frequently for routine exams and get necessary treatment, he said. “It’s pushing patients toward better oral health,” White said.  Continue reading the article here…

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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