NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2014||How Do Providers Respond to Public Health Insurance Expansions? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits|
with Thomas C. Buchmueller, Sarah Miller: w20053
A large and growing number of adults are covered by public insurance, and the Affordable Care Act is predicted to dramatically increase public coverage over the next several years. This study evaluates how such large increases in public coverage affect provider behavior and patient wait times by analyzing a common type of primary care: dental services. We find that when states add dental benefit to adult Medicaid coverage, dentists' participation in Medicaid increases and dentists see more publicly insured patients without decreasing the number of visits provided to privately insured patients. Dentists increase the total number of visits they supply each week while only modestly increasing the amount of time they spend working. They achieve this primarily by making greater use of dental hy...