Quip launches alternative to dental insurance in New York – TechCrunch

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Electric toothbrush maker Quip is using its latest acquisition to launch a dental insurance alternative to New York customers this summer. Called Quipcare, the service runs off the back of Afora, an alternative dental insurance startup Quip acquired last May.

With Quipcare, the goal is to modernize the dental care experience, Quip CEO Simon Enever told TechCrunch.

“People are used to being able to pick up their phone to book, pay and track all aspects of their daily lives,” Enever said. “We think continuity is something we can bring to dentistry.”

Additionally, the plan is to make pricing more transparent so people know exactly what they will be paying before treatment. Two services are part of this launch: Quipcare and Quipcare+.

Basic Quipcare uses a pay-as-you-go model that allows you to find Quip network dentists, view pre-negotiated rates for non-preventive care up front, pay for care, earn points reward and to consult dental records. Quip says Quipcare patients can expect prices 30 to 40 percent below the average for dental care in their area. Enever said Quipcare may be an option for people without insurance or those who have already reached their annual maximum.

Quipcare+, on the other hand, is a preventative care plan that costs $25 per month. Quipcare+ includes two preventive health check-ups per year, as well as x-rays. This plan is more for people without dental insurance, however, Quipcare+ is not necessarily cheaper.

In San Francisco, I pay about $7 a month for dental insurance through my employer. But even if I didn’t go through my insurer, Covered California says I could get a comparable plan with covered preventative exams for $16.06 a month. What you basically pay extra for are the transparent prices and the booking platform. Quipcare+ is similar to One Medical in that you pay primarily for convenience. One Medical is by no means cheaper than having regular insurance, but the convenience they offer via same-day app-based appointments and a plethora of locations can’t be beat.

Quipcare is rolling out this summer in New York City and plans to roll out more widely next year. With the acquisition of Afora, Quip already has hundreds of providers on board for Quipcare. And before launching Quipcare, Quip already had 40,000 providers on its Dental Connect platform.

“The key here is to work with vendors who are committed to making the search, book, and payment experience as good as possible,” Enever said.

Quip started out as a subscription-based electric toothbrush service that replaces toothpaste and brush heads, in part because you’re apparently supposed to change your toothbrush every three months. But Enever has said for years that Quip’s mission has always been to provide an end-to-end solution that simplifies preventative care. Quipcare is just that.

To date, Quip has raised over $60 million in funding from Sherpa Capital, TriplePoint Capital, NFP Ventures and others.

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