Exploring the Impact of ACA on Rural-Urban Disparity in Oral Health Services Among US Noninstitutionalized Adults

Wei Chen Lee, Chih Ying Li, Hani Serag, Maryam Tabrizi, Yong Fang Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: To explore the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on rural disparities in oral health services utilization based on disability status. Methods: Comparing the 2011-2013 with the 2014-2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the study estimated the impacts of ACA on the likelihood of having preventive checkup and utilization of dental treatments in adults older than 18. Findings: The sample consists of 216,184 noninstitutionalized adults with 14.5% living in rural areas. There was a slight improvement in the receipt of oral health services after ACA, but the improvement was not statistically significant. Disability remains a barrier to receiving preventive oral health checkups, and living in rural areas is a barrier for both utilization of preventive checkups and dental treatments. Conclusions: Unmet needs for preventive checkups may result in unnecessary, costly dental treatments. More strategies are needed to reduce the disparities in oral health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Rural Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Affordable Care Act
  • health disparities
  • oral health
  • prevention
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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