Health policy changes mean that more than 130,000 Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid will gain dental insurance next year – some for the first time. This is good news on the oral health front. But is Colorado ready to meet these additional dental demands?
A new study by the Colorado Health Institute suggests that the state will have a number of “dental deserts” in 2014 and beyond where dental care will be hard to obtain, even with insurance.
This county-level supply and demand analysis helps to answer these questions: Will there be enough dentists? Will there be enough dentists who accept Medicaid? Where will providers be needed the most? Which regions will be “hot spots” pairing substantial growth in Medicaid enrollment with limited Medicaid dental access?
As always, CHI goes beyond the data and looks at potential evidence-based solutions: What can be done to bring more dentists into Medicaid? What promising initiatives are underway to increase access to dental care?