Our 2018 survey served as a wakeup call for dental insurers, showing that health insurance executives were moving aggressively onto the profitable turf that dental payers had all to themselves for decades.
Now we’ve updated the research, and it’s clear that health insurers’ incursion into dental is accelerating—and competition is getting more intense. With health plans aggressively moving to bundle dental coverage in their plans, it’s becoming apparent that the two industries are on the verge of convergence, threatening to upend the standalone-dental business model.
The portion of health plans offering adult dental benefits has more than doubled since 2018. And dental insurers are acknowledging and preparing for the coming change. Many more see convergence as an opportunity to partner with new entrants, “embedding” their benefits in health plans. In two short years, even the business model for convergence has shifted to one that is more viable in the near term.
But even for dental insurers taking the change seriously, the survey depicts a call to action. Those that seize the moment will prosper, while the rest will be left to fight for eroding market share as new competition moves in and more business goes out to bid.