By Tim Fitzgerald on Jun 16, 2020 11:00:00 AM
Teledentistry has been around for a while, but with COVID-19, people need these services more than ever. In response to COVID-19 and the CARES Act, many dental insurance companies have added teledentistry to their covered services so members can see a dentist whether they have access to a dental office or not. And even with dental offices reopened, teledentistry is a valuable benefit for your clients that’s here to stay.
Teledentistry allows patients to consult with a dentist conveniently and safely via video chat for dental services including exams and X-rays. Patients can also ask questions and seek medication as needed. But, how do health insurance brokers sell clients on this unique benefit? Even though patients can’t get a filling at a teledentistry appointment, teledentistry brings a lot of value to a benefits package. Here are 3 ways teledentistry is important to your clients and how it can help you make the sale!
- Improving Access to Care
Being able to get dental care no matter where you are sounds nice – but is it really helpful for urban and suburban employers, where there are dentists everywhere? It definitely is. StrongTowns.org highlights that 30% of the 61 million people who live in rural America commute 30 minutes one-way to work. This means that the chances are pretty good that your clients have employees commuting from rural areas. Those employees might not have a network dentist in their town, meaning they visit dentists near their office after work, which keeps them away from home longer. Teledentistry allows rural employees the chance to get their dental exam at home and have fewer late nights (or early mornings) on the road.
- Reducing Dental Anxiety
But it isn’t just rural employees and commuters that teledentistry is helping out. A Medical Principles and Practices article notes 36% of the population has dental anxiety and that it acts as a “significant barrier to dental attendance” that can result in patients not seeing the dentist as often as they should. Teledentistry is a great tool for patients to mitigate dental anxiety since they are examined and diagnosed by their dentist without being anywhere near a dental instrument. This means patients spend less time waiting anxiously at the office and more time with a firm plan of action that brings them peace of mind – helping to reduce stress and anxiety and get them using their dental benefits.
- Palliative and Urgent Care
Teledentistry also makes palliative care available anywhere. And that can be a big benefit for your clients. Dental emergencies happen. And when they do, it is almost always at an inconvenient time or place. Whether your clients work remotely, travel often, or have a traditional office, they all need flexible ways for employees to get care when the unexpected happens. Having a teledentistry benefit means that their employees have access to a dentist no matter where they are when an emergency happens. And dentists are able to prescribe medication through teledentistry if needed, so employees can have their pain treated to minimize discomfort until they can get into the dentist’s chair.
Teledentistry brings an added level of ease and accessibility to your clients’ health insurance package that they haven’t had before. It can cut down on time in the dental office, make palliative care easier, accommodate rural employees, and can make every employee more likely to get the dental care they need when they need it. If you’re looking to offer your clients plans that cover teledentisty, Solstice now covers teledentistry to best meet your clients’ changing dental needs. And while you continue to adapt to COVID-19 as a health insurance broker, it’s a great time to knock out some of your CE credit requirements. Click our link below for up to 12 FREE CE credits online!