The Impact of Medicaid Reform on Children's Dental Care Utilization in Connecticut, Maryland, and Texas

Health Serv Res. 2015 Aug;50(4):1236-49. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12265. Epub 2014 Dec 7.


Objective: To measure the impact of Medicaid reforms, in particular increases in Medicaid dental fees in Connecticut, Maryland, and Texas, on access to dental care among Medicaid-eligible children.

Data: 2007 and 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health.

Study design: Difference-in-differences and triple differences models were used to measure the impact of reforms.

Principal findings: Relative to Medicaid-ineligible children and all children from a group of control states, preventive dental care utilization increased among Medicaid-eligible children in Connecticut and Texas. Unmet dental need declined among Medicaid-eligible children in Texas.

Conclusions: Increasing Medicaid dental fees closer to private insurance fee levels has a significant impact on dental care utilization and unmet dental need among Medicaid-eligible children.

Keywords: Dental care utilization; Medicaid dental fees; Medicaid reform.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Care for Children / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics*
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Medicaid / economics*
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States