Coverage brief: Improving access to oral health care in pregnancy

By: Guest Blogger

A map with differently shaded states to denote their level of Medicaid dental coverage offered to pregnant women.Oral health is essential to a woman’s overall health, including the health of her pregnancy. When women have good oral health, it benefits the entire family.

Yet, current policy gaps block many women from accessing needed dental services during pregnancy. The dental coverage landscape for low-wage pregnant women and adults of child-bearing age is a confusing patchwork. Nearly half of all births in the United States are covered by Medicaid. States are required to provide comprehensive oral health care to children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But dental benefits for adults, including pregnant women, are optional. As a result, coverage options and rules vary widely from state to state, pushing even basic dental care out of reach of many pregnant women.

This brief provides an overview of the importance and status of oral health coverage in pregnancy, using data on the Medicaid dental coverage available to pregnant women in each state as of September 2019.

 


For additional information on oral health in pregnancy:

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Did you know?

44% }
of U.S. children will have at least one cavity by kindergarten.
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