Dental care coverage has traditionally been a secondary priority for people, also because, often, dental problems are not life-threatening and are not treated with the same importance as other conditions. However, now that 75 million people in the US lack essential dental coverage and are forced to delay or skip important treatments for their health, the burden of this choice has started to become evident.
Luckily, the dental insurance market is evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers and provide more transparent, affordable, and accessible coverage. Here are some of the most prominent emerging trends.
While the percentage of people investing in dental coverage is significantly lower than those buying medical insurance, this figure is on the rise – and, with it, the size and reach of the global dental insurance market.
Today, the international dental insurance industry is valued at over $182 billion, and it’s set to continue growing through to 2027 at a CAGR of 8%, reaching a whopping value of $313 billion. In this fast-growing sector, the US is the largest and most prominent market, making the country a launch pad for new and innovative insurance companies.
Today, 37 million people and 47% of Medicare beneficiaries don’t have dental cover – and the ones that take advantage of their benefit are forced to afford $1000 or over in out-of-pocket expenses.
What’s more, those who don’t have dental insurance cite costs, inaccessibility, and unsuitability of policies among the major factors preventing them from getting the coverage they need.
Given this significant healthcare gap, it isn’t surprising that insurance companies are adapting to deliver policies that are more accessible, easy to understand, and customized to the unique needs of each consumer. And, they are doing so by leveraging InsurTech tools such as prevention-focused wearable devices, online platforms, virtual assessments, and AI- or data-driven premium calculations.
Both the health and dental insurance industries are now shifting their focus toward individual consumers’ needs, which include tailored policies, more accessible data about their plans, and better customer service. But, even more importantly, consumers are after dental care policies that they can afford and offer comprehensive coverage.
As the market evolves, innovative marketplaces like Dental Insurance allow customers to compare different policies, find options that cover their specific health and dental needs, customize their plans, and ensure they are getting the best value for their money.
While, historically, dental care has often been considered by insurers as an offshoot of healthcare, there is now a renewed focus on the connection between oral health and overall wellbeing.
Today, one of the things about medical insurance consumers should know is that dental benefits are not commonly covered by Medicare and, when they are, they might be limited. However, the current insurance market is trying to shift towards a more holistic and comprehensive approach to health, fuelling the convergence of health and dental insurance plans.
In the future, consumers will look at plans that will meet all of their healthcare and dental needs and allow them to streamline their finances.
Virtual healthcare and telehealth are playing an important role in transforming the entire industry and making healthcare services more affordable and accessible. What’s more, as studies show the extent of the potential savings on public health services possible through the nationwide adoption of telehealth, governments are getting ready to innovate their healthcare system.
As the adoption rates of virtual care tools are set to rise sharply in the dental care industry, insurance companies can’t just sit back. That is why future plans will aim to absorb some of the costs of virtual consultations and telehealth services.
While the dental insurance market has traditionally been slow to adapt to changes in the market, insurers are now looking to catch up with the needs of consumers and close the gap in dental care coverage.