Empowering Your Patients with Financial Options

January 24, 2024

How HSA Usage Benefits Your Dental Specialty Practice 

Those of you familiar with Trident Endo will agree that we promote a culture of empowerment and a commitment to learning. Our team is always pursuing professional development and continuing education opportunities, which we believe helps us ensure that our patients are well-informed and confident in managing their endodontic care. 

However, we also believe that more can be done across our industry to educate people on the ways they can afford endodontic care, including the financial options available to them, such as the availability of Health Savings Accounts.

We’re reminded of the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and too many patients do not know the choices they have when it comes to affording endodontic solutions. 

We recognize firsthand that healthcare financing is a dynamic subject, which is why it’s crucial for endodontists and their teams to explore innovative ways to make quality endodontic services more accessible to their patients.  

In this blog post, we will delve into the numerous benefits of encouraging your patients to utilize HSAs and how doing so can bring about positive changes for not only them, but your endodontic practice as well.

Understanding Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

It’s always best to put everyone on the same page with a clear definition at the outset. 

In this case, HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that allow individuals to set aside funds for qualified medical expenses. 

Unlike Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), the unspent balance in an HSA rolls over from year to year, providing patients with a valuable long-term savings tool for their healthcare needs.

We’ve laid out six points outlining how a HSA works, which we encourage you to share with your patients who may not have opened one in the past. 

  • Eligibility: To open an HSA, individuals must be enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP); these typically have higher deductibles but lower monthly premiums.
  • Contributions: Contributions to an HSA can be made by both the individual and their employer. These contributions are tax-deductible and reduce the individual’s taxable income. Annual contribution limits are set by the IRS.
  • Tax advantages: HSA contributions, interest, and investment gains grow tax-free; withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are also tax-free. More on those in a moment
  • Portability: HSAs are portable, meaning the account stays with the individual even if they change jobs or health insurance plans.  
  • Qualified medical expenses: HSAs can be used to pay for a wide range of qualified medical expenses, including deductibles, copayments, prescription medications, vision, and certain dental expenses.
  • Withdrawals: Individuals can withdraw funds from their HSA at any time to cover qualified medical expenses. After age 65, withdrawals for non-medical expenses are penalty-free, though income tax is still applicable.

→Check out this list of HSA-Eligible Expenses, including IRS-approved dental expenses.←

How Patients Can Utilize HSAs for Endodontic Services

Many patients are unaware of the fact that their HSA can be used for dental expenses like root canals!

But why should you consider covering the cost of an endodontic service with a HSA? We’ve got three good reasons!

  • Tax savings: Contributions made to HSAs are tax-deductible, reducing a patient’s taxable income. This tax advantage can be a compelling reason for patients to opt for an HSA to cover endodontic expenses.
  • Affordability through savings: By contributing to an HSA regularly, patients can accumulate funds that act as a financial cushion for unexpected endodontic procedures. This ensures that cost is not a barrier when seeking essential dental care (because it shouldn’t be).
  • Flexible spending: HSAs can be used to pay for a wide range of qualified medical expenses, including endodontic treatments, dental surgeries, and related costs. This flexibility empowers patients to make informed decisions about their oral health without financial constraints.

HSA Benefits for Endodontic Practices

As an endodontist who wants the best for their patients, part of your job requires educating them on more than the treatments available to them, but also how to cover the cost of those treatments. 

By accepting HSA payments in your practice, you stand to realize four major benefits:

  • Streamlined payments: Accepting HSA payments streamlines the payment process for endodontic practices because patients can easily use their HSA debit cards to cover the costs of services, simplifying transactions and reducing administrative burdens.
  • Broader patient base: By actively promoting HSA usage, endodontists can attract a broader patient base. In fact, those in the know will actively seek healthcare providers who support alternative payment options like HSAs, thereby expanding the practice’s reach.
  • Reduced dependency on traditional insurances: Embracing HSA payments allows endodontic practices to reduce their dependence on traditional insurance models. This independence provides practices with more control over their financial policies, allowing for greater flexibility and adaptability.
  • Building patient trust: Promoting HSA usage demonstrates a commitment to patient-centric care and financial transparency, which can foster trust between an endodontic practice and its patients, creating lasting relationships that benefit both parties.

Encouraging the use of HSAs in endodontic practices is a win-win situation. Patients gain financial flexibility and tax advantages, while endodontists benefit from streamlined payments, an expanded patient base, and greater control over financial policies. 

By embracing this innovative approach, endodontic practices can position themselves at the forefront of patient-focused, financially sustainable healthcare.

Elevate the industry with us!

Traditionally, the endodontic industry has relied so heavily on “in-network” options when, in reality, these do not always deliver the best outcome for the patient. This, inadvertently, has resulted in a disadvantage to anyone in need of endodontic services, especially if they feel incapable of covering the associated cost of their treatment. 

The fact is, alternative methods for payments and services, like HSAs, are available, effective, and patients should feel empowered to explore these options and not feel bound by their insurance. Just because someone has a certain insurance, doesn’t mean they cannot or should not research whatever solution is in their best interest.

In many cases, a patient might be eligible for better, more affordable, and more convenient services – especially one-time services like a root canal or surgery. 

Moreover, your endodontic practices can leverage the benefits of HSAs by incorporating them into your payment structure, actively promoting their usage, and reaping the advantages of financial flexibility and expanded patient engagement.

At Trident Endo, we urge you to join us in empowering all endodontic patients with the knowledge and confidence to make better choices on behalf of their optimal care.