Consumers Look to Daily Deals to Meet Health Care Needs

by Jodi Jae 4. January 2012 07:50

For years, the daily deal market has offered consumers an inexpensive way to purchase luxury items they otherwise might not have been able to afford. When spa treatments and vacation deals are sold at up to 90% off, we jump at the opportunity to treat ourselves to something special. Increasingly though, consumers are turning to the daily deals market to meet basic health care needs.

Moving beyond luxury buys

Nancy Stafford, a Texas-based childcare provider, had to cancel her health insurance in 2010 following her husband’s unexpected death. Stafford isn’t going without a six month checkup, though. Instead, she’s joined a growing number of uninsured Americans who have turned to daily deals to meet their needs.

 “I have kids to feed and food to put on the table,” said Stafford. “When my dental insurance went up to $500 a month, I cancelled the policy and started buying vouchers to a dentist’s office.” Stafford paid only $45 last year for $200 in dental services.

And Stafford isn’t alone.  Jim Benson runs a successful marketing company in Chicago, Illinois, but struggled to make his $400 monthly premiums for dental care. “I had to give up dental insurance in 2010,” claims Benson. “Now that I use daily deals, I’m actually saving money and still getting good care.” Last month, Benson paid only $39 for a routine dental checkup, a visit that normally costs more than $175.

The rise in dental care deals

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 172 million people under 65 who have private health care coverage in the United States, approximately 45 million carry no dental insurance coverage.

Recent University of Wisconsin graduate, Seth Peterson of Madison, WI, just took a good job with a Wisconsin-based law firm, but chose to opt out of the dental coverage offered him. “Dental insurance would cost me about $6,000 a year,” insisted Peterson. “For under $100 in daily deal vouchers, I can get my teeth cleaned and visit a dentist.”

And it isn’t only consumers that are benefiting from daily deal health care vouchers, but also those in the health care industry. Traditionally, dentists have offered special deals and acquired new patients by sending out print coupons in the mail. These days, many dentists are turning to daily deals.

Dr. Bryce Peterson, a dentist who runs a clinic in Janesville, WI, says that daily deal websites have increased his business. “I’m able to reach a whole new demographic who otherwise wouldn’t see a dentist,” said Peterson, who recently offered a daily deal discount of 65% off dental x-rays.  “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

How to use daily deals to bridge the gap

Daily deals offer the consumer an inexpensive way to meet basic health care needs and help pay for alternative cosmetic procedures. In the last year, well known daily deal websites have offered numerous daily deal vouchers for dental care, Lasik surgery, chiropractor treatments, routine checkups, and more. How can you use daily deal websites to meet your health care needs?

Widen your scope:  Move beyond looking for the best rate on a hotel room and check out health care offers on a regular basis, as well.

Be willing to change your health care provider:  It might not be your dentist who offers a daily deal this month, but another dentist in your city may. Be willing to even temporarily move your business across town for a checkup or needed procedure.

Do some research:  When you find a daily deal with a health care provider, research not only the deal, but also the clinic providing those services. Sometimes you can even couple the deal with a referral from a friend or relative for added savings.

Thanks to daily deals, your impulse buys can not only fulfill your wishes for a cheap vacation, but also basic health care needs. And that’s the best deal going.


Daily Deals | Healthcare

Comments (1) -

steve United States
1/17/2012 1:08:22 AM #

thanks for this

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