Quip, an online subscription platform that ships dental supplies to consumers, is expanding its service to help members book professional care for their mouths.
Called Quipcare, the app-based platform allows those using the company’s service to browse nearby options at set rates, pay for their care and manage treatment notes or reminders. These visits, according to the company, will be offered at roughly 30% to 40% less cost than the average in each member’s area thanks to partnerships with individual and group dental practices. Much like the startup’s existing offering, members will be encouraged to seek these preventive services through in-app reminders and rewards.
What’s more, Quip will also be offering an upgraded version of its membership, Quipcare+, that seeks to serve those in need of alternative dental benefits. For $25 per month, these customers can book up to two preventative check-ups and X-rays per year at a further reduced cost.
”Dental care premiums aren’t regulated like they are in healthcare, meaning profit margins of traditional plans can be big, so patient rates are high and provider reimbursement low,” Dr. Jeffrey Rappaport, director of care at Quip, said in a statement. “With Quipcare, we help patients pay providers more directly, so they can pay less and the provider can keep more, leading to better health outcomes and happier patients and professionals.”
Quip said in the announcement that quipcare will first be launched this summer in New York City, with plans to expand throughout the rest of the US next year as the startup seeks new provider partnerships and service additions for the platform.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
Both tiers of Quip’s new platform offer consumers a way to shop for individual dental services outside of a traditional dental insurance program. With Quip’s subscription offering already reaching more than a million consumers, according to the company, the addition of a free-to-download app with upfront service costs has the potential to bring many new customers into the dentist’s office for treatments, restoration or preventive care.
“One quarter of Americans don't have dental insurance. One third of those with insurance haven't visited their dentist in over a year. Whether insured or not, people aren’t getting the professional care they need. The reasons why are multiple — people view dental care and insurance costs as unclear and expensive, the process of booking and paying for care inconvenient, and the experience of visiting a dentist often an unenjoyable or sometimes feared experience.” Simon Enever, CEO and cofounder of Quip, said in a statement. “We’ve spent years making at-home oral care more simple, affordable and enjoyable for millions of people. Now, we are excited to apply that same ethos to reshape professional dental care with a simple modern app.”
WHAT’S THE TREND
Alongside its partnerships with retailers and professional groups, Quip raised $40 million last November to bolster its growing platform. The company is just one of the big names winning over investors with a consumer-friendly mail-order subscription service — Hims’ closed a $100 million round in January for its health and wellness products for men and women, while Ro announced new alternatives to its sexual health platform that are focused on smoking cessation and menopausal care.