The effects of the Women, Infants, and Children's Supplemental Food Program on dentally related Medicaid expenditures

J Public Health Dent. 2004 Spring;64(2):76-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2004.tb02731.x.


Objective: This study estimates the effects of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) on dentally related Medicaid expenditures for young children.

Methods: We used a five-year cohort study design to compare dentally related Medicaid expenditures for children enrolled in WIC versus those not enrolled for each year of life up to age 5 years. There were 49,795 children born in North Carolina in 1992 who met the inclusion criteria for the study. Their birth records were linked to Medicaid enrollment and claims files, WIC master files, and the Area Resource File. Our analysis strategy included a logit and OLS two-part model with CPI dollar adjustments.

Results: Children who participated in WIC at ages 1 and 2 years had significantly less dentally related expenditures than those who did not participate. WIC participation at age 3 years did not have a significant effect. Fewer WIC children received dental care under general anesthesia than non-WIC children.

Conclusions: The WIC program has the potential for decreasing dentally related costs to the Medicaid program, while increasing use of dental services.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dental Care for Children / economics*
  • Dental Care for Children / statistics & numerical data
  • Dental Service, Hospital / economics
  • Female
  • Food Services / economics*
  • Health Care Costs
  • Health Expenditures
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Logistic Models
  • Medicaid / economics*
  • North Carolina
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • United States