Quip launches dental insurance alternative in NYC

Quip, maker of electric toothbrushes, is making use of its most recent acquisition to launch a dental insurance alternative to customers in New York City this summer. Called Quipcare, the service operates on the back of Afora, a dental insurance alternative 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 for and track every aspect of their daily life,” Enever said. “We believe that seamlessness is something we can bring to dentistry.”

Additionally, the plan is to make prices more transparent so that people know exactly what they’ll pay before the treatment. There are two services as part of this launch: Quipcare and Quipcare+.

Basic Quipcare uses a pay-as-you-go model that enables you to find in-Quip network dentists, see pre-negotiated rates for non-preventative care upfront, pay for the care, accrue reward points and view dental records. Quip says Quipcare patients can expect prices of 30-40% less than the average dental care in their area. Enever said Quipcare can be an option for people without insurance or those with insurance who have already hit their annual maximum.

Quipcare+, on the other hand, is a preventative care plan that costs $25 per month. Quipcare+ includes two preventative check-ups annually, as well as x-rays. This plan is more geared toward people without dental insurance, though, Quipcare+ isn’t necessarily cheaper.

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

Quipcare is rolling out this summer in New York and plans to roll out more broadly next year. Thanks to the Afora acquisition, 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 working with providers who are committed to making the finding, booking, paying experience as good as possible,” Enever said.

Quip began as a subscription-based electric toothbrush service that replaces toothpaste and brush heads, partly 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 the makes preventative care simpler. Quipcare is just that.

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