A new research brief reports that Medicaid-enrolled children in Pennsylvania are more likely to see a dentist than in the past, but that their utilization of dental care still lags far behind that of privately insured children.
The research brief, written by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute, finds that Pennsylvania has the seventh-largest gap in the country between Medicaid-enrolled children and privately insured children for utilization of dental care.
While Pennsylvania’s statistics have improved in absolute terms, large numbers of children are still not receiving dental care. According to reports filed with the federal government, in 2014 only 41.4% of Pennsylvania children who were eligible for Medicaid received dental care of any kind. This left over 760,000 children without any dental care at all.
The Public Interest Law Center is working to expand access to dental care in Pennsylvania. As part of this work, in May we argued a case in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. That case seeks to allow public access to information about how taxpayer funds are used to reimburse dentists for treating children enrolled in Medicaid.