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

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

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.

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