You and your team collect patients’ payments, though you may not understand what happens next during the transaction process. While many people pay for their entire visit at the time of the appointment, plenty of patients cannot afford to do so, so they take advantage of a dental payment plan.
Understanding how your dental office’s payment plan works and learning about new platform options may give you ideas for offering more flexible financing options.
At Weave, we want to help you run your dentistry practice like a well-oiled machine. Use our information below to refine your dental payment plans.
Do Dentists Bill Patients Later?
When you charge patients for their dental services depends upon their health insurance, account terms, preferred dental financing option, and particular dental plan. Some people may pay the single transaction cost at the appointment if they don’t have dental insurance. If the patient does have dental insurance or a dental financing plan, the process typically includes:
- Collecting debit card or credit card information at the appointment
- Verifying the dental insurance coverage
- Recording dental work and care-related details
- Submitting dental insurance claims and resolving denials
- Billing patients their remaining balance
- Submitting payment status to your system
What Are the Three Types of Dental Plans?
The three main types of dental payment plans differ based on insurance agreements:
Preferred provider organization (PPO): PPO dental payment plans only work between participating providers and dentistry offices that provide specific dental care services at an agreed-upon rate.
Dental health maintenance organization (DHMO): DHMO plans ensure that your dentist’s office receives a set payment from the contracted providers each month for expected dental care services.
Discount plan organization: Referral or discount dental plan offers discounted rates to patients. You and the providing organization must agree to lower your dental care fees. One example is the Smile Generation Dental Plan.
and serve more clients?
Flexible payment options allows you to serve more patients
With Buy Now, Pay Later comes less payment worries for your practice and your clients.Schedule Demo
How Your Office Can Provide Patients With Resources To Pay Off Dental Bills
Dental care can cost a lot.¹ Offering dental financing resources to your patients can help them find flexible ways to pay their bills. They can consider:
- Affordable Care Act dental insurance plans
- Dental grants
- Online fundraising
- Financial assistance charities
- CareCredit credit card for dental financing
- Dental discount cards for discounted fees
- Deferred interest plans with low minimum payments
- Variable purchase APR credit card plans (flexible interest adjustments)
You can also consider offering a non-insurance-related credit plan.
With a Buy Now, Pay-Over-Time plan, your dentist’s office can conveniently offer plan members manageable payments with easy mobile pay options.
Search Online for the Term “Dental Implant Payment Plan Near Me”
Dental implants cost thousands of dollars. Some of your patients may not have the funds to purchase such implants, even though their dentist believes it’s their best option. You can offer your patients various relief options by directing them to resources that can help.
First, your dentist’s office could consider providing a tooth implant payment plan with a minimum interest charge. Next, you can urge patients to consider their insurance and loan options. With a decent credit bureau score, your patients may be able to use or combine credit cards, loans, and insurance with your financing options for maximum affordability.
Research “Dental Payment Plan for Bad Credit”
If your patient doesn’t have a strong credit score, they still have options. Many lenders offer dentist-related loans with minimal score requirements. To acquire a loan, your patients should:
- Determine the total funds they need
- Calculate their credit score
- Apply for pre-qualification
- Compare loan terms and rates
- Complete the application and treatment
Every lender provides different flexibility features. For example, a payment-required plan may offer a nominal fee for accrued interest charges. Your patient can research plans to find the best one for their financial situation.
Consider an Emergency Dental Payment Plan
No one expects to pay thousands for an accident.² While your patients may be able to afford a standard cleaning, emergency dental procedure costs could throw them for a loop. Common dentist-related emergencies include abscessed teeth, severe aches, chipped teeth, broken fillings, and dislodged braces.
Emergency dental plans help patients pay for such expensive procedures. They can seek an emergency plan from an insurance provider or your dental office. We recommend advising your patients to consider the state’s minimum creditable coverage requirements from a qualified health plan to avoid tax penalties.
Apply for a Dental Credit Card
Dental credit cards work like other credit cards, though only for verified dentist-related procedures. Your patients can use it to pay for their care or prescriptions (from verified pharmacies), so they can break up costs into affordable chunks.
A few different providers offer dental credit cards, so your patients can pick one that works best for their needs. Existing cardholders may receive various discounts if they stick with their current banking organization. Some companies provide low enrollment fees, 0% interest for up to two years, and refunded processing fees on verified transactions.
Dental Payment Plan Agreement Template
This agreement, dated __/__/__, is a written financial policy between the following parties:
Dentist: [Name] and [address]
Debtor: __ with a mailing address of __
[Dentist name] cost of treatment is $__. The estimated insurance coverage or promotional plan balance is $__, leaving the patient responsible for $__.
I understand that I am responsible for all owed payments that my insurance does not cover. I will pay this amount using the following method:
· $__ payment in full paid with __.
· $__ deposit, paid with __, leaving $__ remaining to be paid by __/__/__ with __.
· __ equal payments of $__.
[signature and date fields]
Emergency Dental Payment Plan Template
If your dentist’s office wants to provide payment agreements for emergency care, you can use a similar template as above, but with a few modifications. For an emergency procedure, you may not choose to require upfront payments if the patient’s health is at risk. In that scenario, you should include a field with required payment deadlines.
You can also add more specific information on interest rates, late fees, down payments, and prepayment periods. Because emergency procedures typically cost more, you may want to include more granular information in this agreement to ensure that each party fully understands their responsibilities.
Providing a dental payment plan at your office can help patients receive the oral care they need. If you need a dentistry platform to help you collect scheduled payments, consider Weave. Our all-in-one platform lets you collect on-time payments, schedule reminders, and offer Buy Now, Pay-Over-Tme plans.
Learn more about Weave by calling us at (866) 308-2039, or request a demo by filling out our online form.
- The Per-Patient Cost of Dental Care, 2013: A Look Under the Hood
- How Much Do Dental Implants Cost in the US? Your Ultimate Guide