Dental insurance is one of the biggest indicators of access to dental care in the United States. Previous studies have shown that people with private dental insurance make more dental visits in the previous year than those without private dental insurance. There are federal and state assistance programs for dental care, but they are limited: The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requires states to provide limited dental coverage for enrolled children up to age 19. The Medicaid program requires states to provide limited dental services for most Medicaid-eligible individuals younger than 21, but there is no assistance for individuals 21 and older.
A recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics analyzed dental insurance status for persons younger than 65 who have private health insurance because of the limited or nonexistent public coverage for dental care. Some of the key findings included:
- Among approximately 172 million people younger than 65 who had private health insurance, 73 percent had some type of dental coverage. However, approximately 45 million people have no dental coverage.
- About one out of two people who did have coverage had it through a single-service dental plan, either alone or in addition to dental coverage through their comprehensive health insurance plan.
- Eight out of 10 people younger than 65 who had group health insurance had dental coverage, compared with only three out of 10 who purchased their policies individually.
- Those with group insurance were about two to three times as likely as people with individual policies to have dental coverage through all types of plans, including a single-service dental plan only, a comprehensive plan only, or both single-service and comprehensive plans combined.
- Among people younger than 65 who have private health insurance, non-Hispanic black people were more likely to have dental insurance than non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic Asians, or Hispanics.
- Non-Hispanic whites were more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to have dental insurance through only a single-service dental plan.
- Non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than those of other racial/ethnic groups to have dental insurance through only a comprehensive health insurance plan only.
- As income level increased, the percentage of people having dental insurance increased.
- People at less than 100 percent of the poverty level were more likely than higher-income individuals (at 400 percent or more of the poverty level) to have dental coverage through only a comprehensive plan.
- As income increased, the percentage having dental insurance through a single-service dental plan, either alone or in addition to a comprehensive plan, increased.
- Adults with at least some college education were more likely to have dental insurance than those with less education.
- As education level increased, there was an increase in the percentage of adults with dental insurance through only a single-service dental plan.
- College graduates were less likely than adults with less education to have dental insurance through only a comprehensive plan.
Now that you are better equipped with the knowledge of who does and who does not have health insurance, it will be easier for you to target prospects who need dental insurance.