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VOLUME 52 | NUMBER 6 | DECEMBER 2017


Early Impact of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion on Dental Care Use

Objective: To examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act on dental care use among poor adults ages 21–64 in 2014.

Data: 2010–2014 Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index Survey.

Study Design: Among poor adults with income at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, a differences-in-differences analysis was used to compare the changes in dental care use in states with different Medicaid expansion and adult dental policies.

Principal Findings: Relative to the pre-reform period and other states, in Medicaid expansion states with adult dental benefits, dental care use increased between 2 and 6 percent points in the second half of 2014, but most of these changes were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Early evidence suggests that the Affordable Care Act may either not be having a substantial impact on dental care use or it is too early to assess the impact.

Objective: To examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act on dental care use among poor adults ages 21–64 in 2014.

Data: 2010–2014 Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index Survey.

Study Design: Among poor adults with income at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, a differences-in-differences analysis was used to compare the changes in dental care use in states with different Medicaid expansion and adult dental policies.

Principal Findings: Relative to the pre-reform period and other states, in Medicaid expansion states with adult dental benefits, dental care use increased between 2 and 6 percent points in the second half of 2014, but most of these changes were not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Early evidence suggests that the Affordable Care Act may either not be having a substantial impact on dental care use or it is too early to assess the impact.

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