Dental access for low income families in Connecticut increasing dramatically

Low-income children from the state of Connecticut are accessing dental care at a higher rate than most other states according to a new report. The report found that children in the state's top ten cities are seeing the dentist as often as their peers with private Connecticut dental insurance. 

Overall, about 300,000 young people in low-income families are getting dental care through the Husky A program. In Hartford and New Britain, that's 75 percent of the kids who are on welfare.

The key to the success in the increase in access has been a higher medicaid reimbursement rate paid to participating dentists which has made it more attractive for them to serve medicaid patients. Reimbursement rates for dentists hadn't been adjusted since 1993. In some instances the rates increased by 100 percent. For a cleaning the amount the dentist get went from only $24 to $65. 

Another key was consolidating the program from four dental providers to only one. The system is now easier for administrators, providers, and patients to work with. The new provider pushed private dentists to participate in a system, which no longer gave insurers incentives not to pay out claims. Members were also sent out reminders to see the dentists.

The result of these actions dramatically increased the amount of participating dental care providers across the state.

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