This question (Do you take my insurance) is known to strike fear in the heart of even the most experienced front office team members.  Why?  Because so many of them believe that if the answer is anything less than a resounding YES, the patient will choose to call the office next door.

The bad news is, sometimes this is true.  The good news? Sometimes its not!  Many patients ask about their insurance or do you take my insurance because they believe that the answer to “Do you take my insurance” is a black and white directive as to whether or not they can receive care in your office.  However, this is most often not the case.  Sadly, our team members handling this answer frequently don’t do a good enough job explaining this.  Or worse, they over-explain.

Let’s explore the question: Do you take my insurance?

Let me walk you through the two scenarios I see the most.  First there is the painful “No & let them go” where the conversation goes like this:

Patient: “Do you take Blue Cross Dental Insurance?”

Front Desk: “No.  I’m sorry we’re not in-network with Blue Cross.”

Patient: “Okay, Bye.”

Then, there is the more prolonged agony of what I call the “Let me explain why you should go somewhere else” approach:

Patient: “Do you take Blue Cross Dental Insurance?”

Front Desk” “We are not in-network with your insurance company, so if you come here we can file your claim BUT they will not pay as much as if you were to see an in-network provider and we will not make any adjustments so you will owe (sometimes a dollar amount) more for the services here. (Then comes the desperate attempt to schedule them…) But our office is great and for (lame reason) we are better.  Would you like me to schedule you an appointment?”

        Patient: “I think I am going to look for someone who is in-network.  Thanks.”

So many front desk team members think they are being helpful or honest in this second approach, but what they are usually doing is creating an obstacle for a patient that wanted to choose your practice.  They took the time to research and call you, their intention was to schedule an appointment and your team took the opportunity to educate them right out of it.

There are 2 key elements missing from this approach that could yield much better results in converting calls to appointments.  The first is building rapport, and the second is making it easy for the patient.  When we discuss insurance as the first criteria for choosing care we miss great opportunities.  Redirecting the do you take my insurance conversation to a bit later in your conversation is essential to helping patients choose your office.  Once you better understand a patients needs and goals, you are in a much better position to assure them that you can work with their insurance to get as much coverage as possible and help them meet their goals.  For example, If you learn in your conversation that the patient wants cosmetic dentistry or has advanced restorative needs, you can help them to understand the minimum impact their dental benefits will have on their care decision.  This is a connection you cannot make for them by starting your conversation with the insurance question.  Once people know how much you care about their situation and that you are willing to help them with their insurance they will likely choose you.

All-Star Dental Academy teaches a wonderful system called The GREAT Call that helps team overcome patient objections, build rapport and improve customer service skills for the phone and scheduling.  Sign up below for a free webinar to learn more!

Dental Practice Excellence: 3 Steps To An All-Star Practice

Limited Time: FREE eBook

"The five-star reviews are rolling in and the phones are ringing off the hook!" - Dr. Jennifer Wayer

1. Get QUALITY patients without selling

2. Banish broken appointments

3. Reduce turnover by 25%

You have Successfully Subscribed!