Association between Medicaid adult nonemergency dental benefits and dental services use and expenditures.
J Am Dent Assoc. 2018 Sep 25;:
Authors: Abdus S, Decker SL
BACKGROUND: Only some states provide coverage of nonemergency dental services for adult Medicaid enrollees. This study examined the association between coverage of Medicaid adult nonemergency dental services and dental services use and expenditures.
METHODS: The authors analyzed data from the 2000 through 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component for adults 21 years or older enrolled in Medicaid. The authors examined a range of outcomes such as dental visits, preventive and 5 other types of dental services, and total and out-of-pocket dental expenditures. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate the differences in outcomes for Medicaid enrollees between states that provided coverage of nonemergency dental services and states that did not, controlling for potentially confounding factors.
RESULTS: Compared with Medicaid enrollees in states that did not provide coverage, enrollees in states that provided coverage of nonemergency dental services were approximately 9 percentage points more likely to have a dental visit, approximately 7 percentage points more likely to have any preventive dental service, and more likely to have all other types of dental services except oral surgery services. Among enrollees with any visit, out-of-pocket share of dental expenditures was approximately 19 percentage points lower among those in covered states than those in uncovered states.
CONCLUSIONS: Medicaid adult nonemergency dental benefits were associated with higher use of preventive and other types of dental services and lower out-of-pocket share of dental costs.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Our results may help inform policy makers as they consider ways of improving dental health of adults through Medicaid.
PMID: 30266300 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]