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Improving Adult Access to Oral Health Care in California Medicaid: Recommendations for Advancing Oral Health from Coverage to Care

By Melissa Burroughs,


Affordable, accessible, high-quality oral health care services are crucial to the overall health of our nation. Making sure that low-income adults can obtain these services requires a particularly concerted effort. California is a leader in terms of offering robust oral health coverage to its adult Medicaid beneficiaries, but it falls short when it comes to educating enrollees about their benefits and helping them get high-quality care to improve oral health outcomes.  The state must take additional steps, beyond coverage, to ensure Medicaid enrollees understand the dental benefit and have access to the services they need to support their oral health.

This report examines the utilization of California’s Medicaid adult dental benefits, identifies barriers that prevent adults from accessing oral health care, and offers recommendations for how the state can help more low-income adults get the oral health care they need.