By Daniel Weintraub
Latino and African American children in Medicaid have high rates of tooth decay but visit dentists less often than children with private insurance, according to a new article in the journal Health Affairs.
But the racial and ethnic disparities go beyond economic status. Latino and African American children with private insurance are less likely than white children to see a dentist, and they go longer between visits. And Latino and African American children in Medicaid are more likely than white children in Medicaid to go longer between trips to the dentist.
The findings are based on the California Health Interview Survey. The research was supported by the California Healthcare Foundation.
“The findings suggest that having insurance isn’t always enough,” said co-author Nadereh Pourat, Ph.D., and director of research planning at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “We need to address the other barriers that keep children from getting the help they need.”
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