Oral health problems affect a majority of Americans and poor oral health disproportionately affects adults living in poverty. Chapter 2 of the June 2015 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP examines dental benefits for adults enrolled in Medicaid.
Most low-income adults, when they have dental coverage, receive it through Medicaid but federal law does not mandate dental coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries. Consequently, state Medicaid programs vary considerably in the dental services they offer adults. Moreover, states often reduce or eliminate adult dental benefits in lean years, although they sometimes restore benefits when the state budget outlook improves. Chapter 2 examines why Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to regular dental care is challenging in many areas of the country, and describes federal and state initiatives underway to improve their access to dental services.
Publication Type: Reports to Congress