Dental Services for Adults in the HUSKY Program: Utilization Before and After Major Program Changes in 2008

Back • Publication Date: September 17th, 2012

Authors: Mary Alice Lee, Ph.D.

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In 2008, Connecticut made significant changes in the HUSKY Program that were designed to improve access to dental care for children.  Increased provider reimbursement, provider network expansion and enhanced customer services adopted for children also affected dental care for adults.

Results of this study show that adult dental care utilization increased, continuing a long-term trend in utilization evident prior to program changes.  However, just one of every three adults received preventive care in 2009 and 2010.  Dental treatment rates improved, perhaps because the greatest percentage increase in provider reimbursement was for treatment services.  Key findings:

  • About 50 percent of adults in HUSKY A (Medicaid) received any dental care, including about 32 percent with preventive care and 33 percent with treatment;
  • Adult dental care utilization rates for preventive care were far lower than rates for children, while treatment rates were similar;
  • As in previous years, dental care utilization rates were highest for Hispanic adults and adults of other non-Hispanic racial/ethnic groups (mainly Asian); utilization rate differences associated with race/ethnicity have not narrowed appreciably over time.