Why You Should Be Selling Dental Insurance
Senior Market Advisors is an Insurance FMO
Senior Market Advisors is a field marketing organization that markets, sells, and distributes many different insurance products, including dental insurance.
We offer our agent partners a diversified product portfolio, top-tier commissions, eContracting capabilities with leading carriers, product knowledge & training, and other FMO insurance services.
The way we do business is fundamentally different. We are a senior market FMO that values people over profit, and encourages engagement between our agent partners and our sales and marketing staff. Senior Market Advisors can provide you with all the support you need to grow your business.
Why you should be selling dental insurance
Dental insurance is one of the most commonly requested products by seniors, who also ranked dental health among their top priorities according to a 2018 consumer study by the American Dental Association.
Unfortunately, retirees often lose the dental and vision insurance they earned through their employer and Original Medicare offers very little coverage for dental expenses. Even Medicare Supplement policies provide little to no substantial dental benefits. Medicare Advantage plans or stand-alone dental insurance may be the best way to go.
Without dental insurance, the routine dental care that seniors eagerly want can be prohibitively expensive. Get your clients the benefits they need, while also taking advantage of this huge potential market by selling dental insurance.
The benefits of working with an insurance FMO/IMO
Whether you’re just starting out as an agent or have been in the industry for years, partnering with a marketing organization could make all the difference when it comes to hitting your sales goals.
FMOs and IMOs (independent marketing organizations) are there to give their agents access to the insurance products, leads, training, tools, and back-office support they need to succeed.
While an independent producer may be able to sell certain products, most top-tier insurance carriers will not allow direct agents to contract without an FMO. Your FMO insurance partner will work directly with you and the carriers to get you the certification, credentialing, and contracting for products you want to sell.
What you should know about selling dental insurance
Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans can provide great health insurance but do not offer any substantial dental benefits. Most dental care (cleanings), procedures (fillings, extractions), and supplies (dentures, dental plates) will not be covered with these plans.
Your clients will either need to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans that have dental coverage, or in stand-alone dental insurance plans if they don’t want to pay for all dental services out of pocket.
Understanding Dental Insurance: The Basics
If your available Medicare Advantage plans do not meet the client’s coverage needs, they will likely need to purchase a separate dental insurance policy. Dental insurance plans have some unique characteristics you should be familiar with before selling them.
How dental plans work
Dental insurance plans are usually very affordable. The low premium covers dental insurance for any dentist in the plan’s network. They can be sold as individual and family plans, depending on what kind of coverage your client needs.
Most dental plans will require a waiting period for basic services, usually between 6 to 12 months. Major services could involve an even longer period before work can be done, sometimes up to two years. However, for some dental insurance, no waiting period applies.
In general, dental insurance plans are guaranteed issue policies that cover three categories of dental services:
- Basic (fillings, root canals)
- Major (crowns, dentures)
- Preventive (annual cleanings etc)
Different plans will vary in how they classify dental care services and most will not cover cosmetic dental procedures like whitening. Be sure to know how each plan you sell divides these dental benefits differently.
Dental insurance costs
Chances are, your clients want and need dental coverage, but they may be concerned about price. If they ask, “How much is dental insurance?” your answer may heavily depend on which plans you offer, as premiums and benefits can vary greatly.
These policies are also usually tied to a provider network. However, many plans will offer some coverage for out-of-network dentists, although at significantly less of a discount than using the built-in network.
How to get started selling dental insurance
As an insurance agent, it’s always a good idea to diversify your portfolio and be able to sell as many different products as possible. If you’re already successfully selling other kinds of insurance, you should seriously consider getting licensed to be a dental insurance broker as well. Here are some quick tips for how to become a dental insurance agent.
Getting a proper insurance license
Before anything else, you will need to know how to get a license to sell dental insurance. You can use the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website to view the requirements in each state in which you want to sell. You will need to complete those educational requirements and the pre-licensing course for dental insurance.
After you have passed the agent licensing examination, you will need to pay the required fee and submit your exam score to the state insurance department before receiving your license.
Partnering with an FMO
No matter what kind of insurance products you are selling, partnering with an FMO can give your business a boost. Your FMO partner can support you in many crucial ways, including:
- Leads support
- Custom quoting & CRM tools
- Contracting with top carriers
- Product and sales training
Purchasing errors and omissions insurance
Even insurance agents need to be insured sometimes. Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance are a form of professional liability coverage that can protect agents in the event of a lawsuit or other litigation. An E&O policy can cover your defense costs, as well as damage awards if you lose the case.
Completing the AHIP Medicare certification
In order to sell any insurance associated with Medicare including Medicare Advantage, most carriers will require you to pass the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) certification. You will need to pass the Medicare course, as well as the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse course.
There is a cost associated with getting certified with AHIP, namely $175 to take the test. Many carriers will offer a discounted rate of $125 if you take the test through their agent portals. For those that don’t have a discount, your FMO may be able to help you cover the cost.
How to make money selling dental plans
You may be curious about getting licensed but may be wondering, “Can you make a lot of money selling insurance like dental?” Our answer is an absolute “Yes!’
Lack of dental coverage is one of the biggest concerns among eligibles and beneficiaries. Over 75% of low-income Medicare beneficiaries receive no dental care at all in a given year. Even among those with Medicare Advantage plans, only about 58% actually have some kind of dental coverage. Dental insurance is a much-needed benefit for many Americans, so there will always be lots of leads available for you to get clients.
Not only is there a huge potential market for it, but dental insurance also offers a high commissions rate. Where standard health insurance commissions are usually around 5%, dental commissions can often be three times that amount!
Tips for selling more dental insurance plans
You don’t always have to be tracking down new leads to sell more insurance. One of the best places to sell more dental plans is to your existing clients. Next time you have a follow-up call with one of your clients, try asking them a few questions:
- Ask if they visit the dentist regularly
- Ask if they pay for those visits out of pocket, or if they have some kind of coverage
- If they do, ask what carrier they have their dental plan with
This line of questioning is a great way to find out what coverage they currently have, and also gives you the opportunity to stress the importance of good dental coverage.
Another great way to sell more dental plans (particularly during the COVID outbreak) is to learn how to sell dental insurance online. If your client has the necessary access to the internet, try conducting your sales meeting online using Zoom or Skype. Some carriers also offer an electronic application the client can complete and enroll with.
Common questions clients will ask
Even though most Americans want and need dental insurance, your clients may still have a few questions for you. Here are some FAQs you may hear and how to answer them:
Is it worth it to have dental insurance?
In almost all cases, yes. Dental health is closely tied to overall health, and people are much more likely to maintain their dental health when they have dental insurance. Seniors are especially vulnerable to dental issues and should be sure that they have coverage.
Which is the best dental insurance?
The best dental plan for each client could depend on a number of factors, including what state they are in, where they live in relation to the plan network, how much coverage they want, and how much they want to spend monthly in premiums. Go through all your dental options with them to help them find the best fit.
How much is dental insurance per month?
The monthly premium of a given dental insurance plan is also based on the above mentioned factors. But most dental plans will have premiums that can range from $5 to $35 a month.
Can you buy dental insurance at any time?
Dental insurance offered by private insurance carriers can be purchased any time of the year, as there are no applicable enrollment periods.
Dental insurance carriers we represent
Senior Market Advisors has close relationships with the best carriers, so we can get our agents the best dental insurance in 2020. Contract with us today and get access to the best dental insurance providers, including:
Why Senior Market Advisors should be your FMO
If you’re interested in selling dental insurance, why not partner with one of the fastest-growing FMOs in the nation? We support our dental insurance agents by providing access to the best dental plans, and the contracting and training it takes to sell them.
SMA was founded by insurance agents for insurance agents. Our CEO, Jeff Pita began his career as an independent insurance agent, so he knows the hard work it takes to be successful. Above all, he and the SMA team are dedicated to people over profit.
What We Offer Our Independent Agents
- Top-tier commissions
- Diversified product portfolio
- eContracting capabilities with leading carriers
- Product insight and training
More information and resources for insurance agents
Begin contracting today!
Ready to get started selling dental insurance? Use our eContracting process to join our team and see the difference SMA can make for your business!