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Study: States working to reach more kids with dental care

States are responding to family and professional frustration over access to dental care for low-income children with State Children's Health Insurance Program innovations, says a contract study for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Citing American Dental Association and state reports as well as published literature and Internet sources, the study says the SCHIP created a new vehicle for extending dental coverage to low-income children. "The decision by nearly every state to offer a dental benefit under SCHIP has improved the chances that low-income children who were previously uninsured have access to dental care."

"After enrolling in SCHIP, more families reported that their children received a dental visit in the past year, had a usual source of dental care, experienced a reduction of unmet dental needs and delayed access to care, and increased the total number of dental visits," said the study by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

The report cites family and professional concerns about the limited access of low-income families to dental care and says states are responding to those concerns.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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