HCFO Findings Brief: The Individual and Program Impacts of Eliminating Medicaid Dental Benefits in the Oregon Health Plan

Vol. XIV, No. 6
September 2011

Medicaid is the primary safety-net insurance system in the United States and covers approximately 60 million Americans. While Medicaid covers medical and long-term care, dental coverage is optional for adults. Due to the optional status of this benefit, it is often one of the first items eliminated when states experience budget shortfalls. In a HCFO-funded study, Neal Wallace, Ph.D., examined a change in Oregon’s Medicaid program that resulted in a natural experiment to explore the impacts of eliminating dental benefits on low-income adults.