Dental Visit Rates among Medicaid Enrollees

Thousands more Medicaid enrollees have been accessing dental care since 2013.
Still only 1/3 of Medicaid enrollees visited the dentist in 2016.
all medicaid dental visits 2013.2016

Why does this matter?

Poor oral health is associated with additional health risks. Both children and adults who are living in poverty are less likely to visit the dentist, due in part to low Medicaid reimbursement for dentists.

Several programs were implemented between 2013 and 2016 to increase visits for low-income individuals, including Healthy Kids Dental insurance expansion (HKD) and the installation of a community dental clinic in Washtenaw County.

The Dental Visits for Low-Income Individuals data report explores how the percent of residents enrolled in Medicaid who were able to visit the dentist has changed since 2013. 

Key Findings:

  • GOOD NEWS: Between 2013 and 2016, there has been a consistent, significant increase in the rate of Washtenaw residents with Medicaid or Healthy Michigan Plan who had at least one dental exam during the year.
  • 8300 more individuals in Washtenaw County on Medicaid received dental services in 2016 compared to 2013. Still, only 34% of individuals enrolled in Medicaid had a dental exam in 2016
  • Compared to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, rural areas of the county have fewer rates of dental visits for Medicaid-enrolled individuals. This is true for each population and across every year.