Low-Income Maryland Children Lack Dental Care

Armen Hareyan's picture
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More than 10,780 children eligible for Medicaid in Maryland have not received dental care in at least four years, and an additional 22,110 low-income children have not seen a dentist in at least two years, according to a review of dental records by the House Oversight and Government Reform Domestic Policy Subcommittee, the Washington Post reports. Subcommittee staff reviewed billing and service information from United Healthcare, one of the managed care groups that administers Medicaid benefits in Maryland.

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About 500,000 children in the state are enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans. The review found that seven dentists in Prince George's County were providing more than half of dental services to the county's 45,000 to 50,000 child Medicaid beneficiaries. An Oct. 2 letter from the subcommittee faulted United Healthcare's administration of Medicaid beneficiaries. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), one of the lawmakers who signed the letter, on Wednesday said, "What we are finding is that children are not getting the care they are entitled to."

Steven Matthews, a spokesperson for United Healthcare's Medicaid plan, said, "We have some serious questions about some of the material in the committee's letter, and we would strongly disagree with the conclusions." Matthews added that the insurer is preparing a response to the panel's review and will submit it before the Oct. 19 deadline (Otto, Washington Post, 10/4).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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