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Medicaid Redetermination

How many adults and children lost dental coverage?

Image of mom with baby on lap

When the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expired in April 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that 15 million people would lose the health care coverage they had been receiving through Medicaid.

As people were disenrolled from Medicaid (a process referred to as Medicaid redetermination) and sought to secure coverage through other programs or the private market, there was no guarantee that dental care would be included. 

New data analyses by CareQuest Institute reveal that approximately 12 million adults and children were disenrolled from Medicaid dental coverage as of September 2023. Prior research finds that individuals of color are disproportionately represented among those in this Medicaid coverage gap, and also among the people who have lost Medicaid coverage this year.

The precipitous rise of individuals losing Medicaid dental coverage following the COVID-19 PHE highlights the need for and importance of strengthening both public and private sources of dental coverage.

Impact Nationwide


Approximately 5.9 million adults were disenrolled from Medicaid dental coverage due to redetermination.


Approximately 6.1 million children were disenrolled from Medicaid dental coverage due to redetermination.


Nearly 10 million adults and children still do not have dental insurance after redetermination.

Impact by State


The number of people who remained uninsured are included in the total number of people who lost dental coverage.
For these dental coverage analyses, CareQuest Institute extracted data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publicly available sources, including monthly state-level reports.

Additional Resources

An Estimated 12 Million Children and Adults Lost Medicaid Dental Insurance after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Expired

A report that analyzes the growth in Medicaid enrollment during the public health emergency and the precipitous rise of uninsured individuals following its expiration.

Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker

The Coverage Checker is an interactive tool for policymakers, administrators, and advocates to easily understand where a given state’s Medicaid adult dental benefits package falls on a continuum from no dental benefits to extensive benefits, helping identify areas for improvement.

Uninsured and in Need

A visual report that estimates more than 68 million US adults do not have dental insurance. The authors urge health care professionals, administrators, policymakers, and advocates to help increase dental coverage within Medicaid and Medicare.