As summer comes to a close, it’s easy to begin to see to-do lists grow with back-to-school items to be checked off. A demographic often forgotten is college-aged students, 18 to 25 years old. This demographic of collage students presents a unique set of opportunities and challenges to your practice. Here is some help as you set out to meet their needs.
Your practice and staff needs to be prepared to handle a wide range of payment options. Many students do self-pay with the wages of a part time job or loan options, but many still fall under their parent’s insurance. The Affordable Care Act, signed in 2010, allows college-aged students to remain on a parent’s insurance until they are 26.
A young adult can join or remain on a parent’s insurance plan even under the following instances:
- They are married
- Not living with parents
- Attending School
- Not financially dependent on parents
- Eligible to enroll in employer insurance
When demographically targeting collage-aged students, remember that you will very often be dealing with insurance information. Having your front desk staff prepared and reminded of these details will allow you to correctly process these patient’s information for a smooth and easy dental visit before they head off to school again.
The Right Window
The window of opportunity to treat college-aged patients is unique. Younger school children often have a wider window for back-to-school treatment. College-aged students often juggle their summer time between shortened summer semesters, internships, studies abroad, vacations with families and friends, and back-to-school travel.
Timing your marketing and direct mailers is a critical part of your opportunity. A campaign directed at this demographic can be run as the summer comes to a close. College start dates often range, but go with your local university’s start date and you should be safe.
Different and extended office hours and appointment scheduling may be an option as the first day of school draws ever nearer. College students transitioning between travel, and the first day of a semester would definitely appreciate flexible scheduling options, whether those are early open, or extended hours to accommodate these unique windows of time.
Promotions for your practices demographics may vary. Many students headed back to college my be an only child, or could have younger siblings still living at home. This variable and the correct timing can make for a great promotional item.
Be creative. Your practice may pair a family’s children together in a back to school deal, allowing the collage student a percentage off if they come in with a younger sibling, or provide a discount or reduced price prior to a specific date—two weeks before the first day at the local university or community college for example.
Find a promotion that fits your demographics and your clientele base. Proactively reaching out to college-aged patients can bring new business, and revive the visits of a once younger patient.
Finding a way to provide for the dental needs of collage-aged patients will grow your business and broaden your client reach. Using the help of DentalMarketing.net to find and contact this group can start today.