COSTA MESA, Calif.: 8 Nov. 2017 — Driven by challenges with cost and in-network dentist availability,overall dental plan customer satisfaction is declining, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Dental Plan Satisfaction Report.SM.
In the 2017 study, satisfaction declines to 770 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 781 in 2016. The decline in satisfaction is primarily driven by challenges with cost (755 in 2017 vs. 767 in 2016), and coverage (787 in 2017 vs. 802 in 2016). The biggest decline is with in-network dentist availability, down 1.29 satisfaction points from 2016.
“With healthcare becoming more consumer-focused, dental plans are coming face-to-face with new challenges and are having to adjust to accommodate this shift,” said Rick Johnson, Director of the Healthcare Practice at J.D. Power. “In addition to offering cost effect solutions, expanding coverage and effectively communicating with members will ensure increased levels of satisfaction as well as customer advocacy and loyalty.”
Following are some of the key findings of the study:
- Contact and problem resolution: The number of times a member has contacted the dental plan insurer to resolve their problem or question has decreased to 1.78 in 2017 from 2.46 in 2016. However, the length of time to resolve the problem or question has increased to 4.61 days in 2017 from 3.53 days in 2016.
- Satisfied members get the word out: More than 9 in 10 (94%) delighted dental plan members (overall satisfaction scores above 900) say they “definitely will” recommend the insurer to others, compared with the report average of 44%.
- Satisfied members are loyal: Given the choice, more than half (93%) of delighted members say they “definitely will” select the same dental plan insurer, compared with the report average of 40%.
DentaQuest ranks highest, performing particularly well in the cost and communications factors. Aetna Dental ranks second and UnitedHealthcareDental ranks third.
The 2017 Dental Plan Satisfaction Report is based on responses from roughly 2,100 dental plan members.
The study was fielded in October 2017. While most dental care providers included in the study typically provide insurance coverage through the customers’ employer, DentaQuest largely provides government plans.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.
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