Access, Use, and Costs of Dental Services in the Healthy Kids Program

Brief

Access, Use, and Costs of Dental Services in the Healthy Kids Program

August 1, 2007

Abstract

This brief presents data on dental coverage benefits and enrollee's access and use of dental services through the Healthy Kids program in San Mateo County, California, which offers subsidized health and dental insurance for children living below 400 percent of federal poverty who are ineligible for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families (California's SCHIP program). Healthy Kids dental coverage has led to use of dental services among a sizable portion of enrollees. Children seeking dental services were more costly for the program than other enrollees, and dental care costs accounted for a large proportion of the overall cost of their healthcare. While there is adequate service capacity to meet childrens dental needs in the county, renewed efforts to link enrollees with dental care are needed.

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