The use it or lose it reminder is to inform patients that their dental insurance benefits will expire at the end of the year. It is something most practices routinely send out towards the end of the year. Does this reminder really work to help fill the schedule and what can you do to get the most out this outreach to fill your schedule for a great end to the year?
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Why has this become common practice to send these out? For many practice across the country September can be one of the slower production months of the year. Whether it be from families getting settled into the routine of being back at school & recovering from the extra expense of the summer vacation & back to school shopping many practices experience slow down in September.
With only a few months left in the year and a time when most practices have more days closed than any other time of year it’s important t to finish off the year with growth & profit.
The end of the year insurance reminder is also a real benefit for patient who have unscheduled treatment plans. They have the opportunity to make use of their insurance dollars to complete treatment they need. Most patients don’t want their money to expire or go to waste.
So, what’s the best way to communicate this to your insured patients?
The most common way to remind your patient about the use it or lose it dental insurance fact is by sending them a letter via post office or email provider (Lighthouse , Revenuewell, Solution Reach etc.) Most of the major email providers for dentists have ready made messages for you to choose from. They are all written up & ready to go or you can customize to your own practice flavor or style.
I’ve got a checklist of the top ways we help the offices we coach get the word:
– A letter or an email: depending on the support & time you have available an old fashioned letter through the post office in addition to emails is recommended. Seeing a letter from your dentist among all the other junk mail & bills will stand out. Make sure the letter has your branding and doesn’t look the same as the statements you may be sending out monthly.
– Emails – yes that’s right, plural emails at least 3 if you can. These messages can essential be the same but should have a different introduction & different subject lines. We recommend sending out your emails 2 weeks apart or 1 week if you get started later. Just a side note on the email – I do recommend you call your email service rep & ask about creating custom lists or fields that will be sure to only deliver to patients that have insurance & have benefits remaining.
– In-office, the patients you see everyday should also get the chance to understand & be reminded that their insurance benefits are about to expire. Especially if you see a family & see unscheduled treatment. We always recommend reviewing unscheduled treatment opportunities at morning huddle. This will also give your team something more to add towards encouraging patients to schedule their treatment, especially when presenting new treatment plans.
– Counter top displays or other collateral can bring the topic to the patients awareness. If you have counter top display holders you can print up a simple 1 page sheet that asks the question: Did you know your remaining insurance benefits expire at the end of the year? Or Did you know your dental insurance dollars don’t roll over or are lost at the end of the year? Now that’s a conversation starter. Great for reception room tv presentations too & helps on those busy days when the team is short on time for longer conversations.
– Social media & your website: we usually write a blog post for our coaching clients and create connected social media posts to get the word out to the local online community. Boosted posts on Facebook work well for this messaging or even Facebook ads with a free consult can reach those in your local community that are not connected to your social platforms. Be sure to include the assurance that you will do a complimentary benefits check too.
The end of the year insurance reminder is something that most offices do at the end of the year & something that can definitely be taken to the next level.
These quick tips only cover the basics of utilizing your internal tools and the channels you already have available to you. You can see that you can create a whole campaign around this with external marketing and community outreach strategies that we’ve seen work well to be get the schedule full for a great end to the year!
That’s our show for today. We’re all about sharing what we’ve seen work well and would love to hear from you. Let us know what you’ve had some good experience with the use it or lose it outreach. Or if you’d like to chat with us about something specific feel free to take advantage of our free coaching call. I’ll have the link to sign up for a free one-on-one call with me to discuss any needs or questions you may have.
Until next time, Thanks again for stopping by!