Uninsured and in Need

Published 08/28/2023

68.5 Million Lack Dental Insurance, More May Be Coming

According to the 2023 State of Oral Health Equity in America survey from CareQuest Institute, an estimated 68.5 million adults do not have dental insurance. The survey is the largest nationally representative, annual survey focused exclusively on adults’ knowledge, attitudes, experiences, and behaviors related to oral health.

Key findings from the survey reveal more detail about the ongoing inequities: 

  • More people have dental insurance than in the previous two years. However, more than 6 million adults lost their dental coverage in the past year, primarily due to job loss. Including other household members, the number of individuals who have lost dental coverage in the past year could be as high as 15.6 million. 
  • An additional 14 million adults may lose dental coverage under the Medicaid redetermination process that began on April 1, 2023. The total number of adults without dental insurance will continue to increase as individuals lose their Medicaid dental coverage.  
  • Adults aged 60 years and older were most likely to lack dental insurance. 
  • Hispanic individuals were twice as likely to have lost dental insurance in the last year than white non-Hispanic individuals. 

Dental Coverage in Medicaid and Medicare 

Nearly two-thirds of adults surveyed strongly agree that Medicaid and Medicare should cover dental care. This report, part of CareQuest Institute’s ongoing advocacy work, urges health care professionals, administrators, policymakers, and advocates to help increase dental coverage within Medicaid and Medicare. 

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