Helping Children Get Access to Dental Care

Over the past few decades Connecticut children enrolled in HUSKY A (Healthcare for UninSured Kids and Youth), the state’s Medicaid program for low-income families, could not easily access dental health services for a variety of reasons including low private dentist participation. Many providers cited low reimbursement rates and cumbersome program administration as obstacles to treating children insured under Medicaid. Based on a 2008 lawsuit settlement agreement, program administration improved and reimbursement rates increased, moving closer to private insurance rates. An examination of Medicaid data between 2006 and 2011 will illustrate the impact of these changes on utilization rates, private dentist participation, and the relative contributions of private practices and dental safety net providers.

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