Dental insurance status is a major determinant of who will seek dental treatment, according to a Facts and Findings report by Rutgers’ Center for State Health Policy.
The report complied data from the CSHP’s 2001 and 2009 New Jersey Family Health surveys on children ages 3 to 18 who received no dental services within a year.
The study found that children with employer-sponsored or privately purchased dental insurance were much more likely to receive dental care than children without dental insurance or even those covered by publicly insured programs like by Medicaid/NJ Family Care.
According to Rudgers University news, the report also pointed to well-care doctor visits as an important indicator of the likelihood of a child receiving dental care, possibly because of efforts to increase dental referrals in managed care plans and the expansion of dental care in federally qualified health centers.
“The odds were three times as great for children who did not have a well-child doctor visit in the past year to not receive dental care as those who visited a doctor,” said José Nova, research project coordinator and lead author of the study. He noted that care for under-served children could be improved with expanded health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Reuters estimates that 45 million Americans do not have dental insurance.
To read more on this report see: Rutgers Study: When it Comes to Use of Dental Services, not all New Jersey Youngsters are Equal