When Mariya Barnett took over her dental practice in East Dallas two years ago, she quickly noticed a pattern with respect to patients and their ability to pay.
Nearly a third showed up without any insurance.
"To me that's a significant enough need and it tells me there's definitely people out there that could benefit from this," Barnett said.
The *this* that Barnett is dental care that cuts out insurance. Think teeth cleanings, x-rays, exams all covered for one price, just under $300 at her office, for one year.
A subscription for your teeth with an emphasis on preventative care.
"Then patients are in here more regularly, we're able to see them and diagnose things earlier," Barnett said.
The Texas Dental Association told WFAA subscriptions are becoming more popular as insurers pay dentists less for procedures and cover even fewer procedures.
“For these reasons it is understandable to hear that Texas dentists are working one-on-one with patients to devise innovative care options," it said in a statement.
The Consumer Health Alliance, the national trade association for discount healthcare programs, says nationally over 60-percent of patients that subscribe will use a membership service for more than one year.
Barnett says the most common uninsured patient she sees are people over the age of 65 where Medicare provides health insurance, but not dental coverage without the purchase of a supplemental plan.
"We also see a lot of young professionals who may work for smaller companies that don't offer dental insurance," Barnett said. "Our ultimate goal is not let finances stand in the way of being able to get the dental treatment that one needs.”