Aetna Inc., which provides dental coverage to about 14.2 million plan members, is making booking a trip to the dentist more digital.
Beginning in January, Aetna will offer options from Brighter, a developer of digital dental tools for health insurers and others based in Santa Monica, Calif.
The new digital tools from Brighter are designed to help Aetna plan members to reduce out-of-pocket costs, better manage oral health, and more easily research and connect with in-network providers. The new services will be available to Aetna Dental members, including those with a dental maintenance organization plan, says Aetna senior vice president of specialty businesses Sheryl Burke.
The new features will let Aetna dental members compare network providers by Brighter Score, a proprietary ratings and review system, read reviews from other patients, see referrals from co-workers and better understand how much they would pay in out-of-pocket costs for dental services. Aetna plan members can also book dental appointments online and receive reminders when they are due for their next check-up. Aetna did not disclose the costs of deploying the new digital dental tools.
“We are infusing our online tools with the same modern consumer conveniences that we expect in every other aspect of our lives,” Burke says. “With the addition of these capabilities, it will be easier for our dental members to make more informed decisions, better maintain their oral health, and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year.”
Brighter was founded in 2015 and is backed by investors including Mayfield Fund, Benchmark, Tenaya Capital and General Catalyst. In April 2016 Brighter raised $21 million in financing led by General Catalyst Partners. Other customers include Cigna Corp. and Delta Dental Plans Association, the national association of Delta Dental member companies, which collectively make up the nation’s leading dental benefits provider, with enrollment of more than 73 million consumers.