Fewer than half of states offer dental care to adult Medicaid enrollees
March 26, 2014:
March 26, 2014
Fewer than half of all U.S. states offer dental care to Medicaid eligible non-elderly adults according to a study by SHADAC’s Kathleen Call and Jessie Kemmick-Pintor along with Nafisa Elmi and Pricilla Flynn of the University of Minnesota’s School of Dentistry. Even among adults living in states that offer dental benefits through Medicaid, such coverage does not ensure they will seek or access dental care.
The study authors project the effect of the ACA on patient-identified barriers to dental care based on a framework developed using data from a 2008 survey of Minnesota Medicaid enrollees with and without an annual dental visit. They project that the ACA will not reduce barriers to dental care for adult Medicaid enrollees.
Other findings include:
The rate of annual visits (55%) was below that of all Minnesotans (79%) with 40% reporting difficulties accessing services.
No racial/ ethnic disparities were found in annual dental visits among adult Medicaid enrollees.
Adult Medicaid recipients with no annual visit reported individual (51%), provider (27%), and system- level (22%) barriers.
Hmong, Somali, and American Indian adults were more likely than others to report barriers to receiving dental care.
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a part of the Health Policy and Management Division of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.