The impact of the affordable care act's Medicaid expansion on dental care use through 2016

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act on dental care use among low-income adults ages 21-64.

Methods:

Our analysis uses national survey data from the 2010-2016 Gallup Wellbeing-Index. We use a differences-in-differences analysis to assess changes since the end of 2013 in dental care use among low-income adults. We compare changes in states that expanded Medicaid and offer adult Medicaid dental benefits versus changes in other states.

Results:

Relative to the pre-reform period and other states, in Medicaid expansion states with adult dental benefits, dental care use increased 3-6 percentage points in 2016.

Conclusions:

In Medicaid expansion states with adult dental benefits, evidence suggests that low-income adults have greater access to dental care.

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