While Minnesota ranks near the top in many areas of health care, providing access to dental care is not one of them. In fact, Minnesota ranks near the bottom of all states in providing dental services for children and adults enrolled in Medicaid. This failure impacts about 40 percent of the children in the state.
Minnesotans with lower incomes enrolled in state health insurance programs experience higher rates of dental disease and greater difficulty accessing dental services. More than 60% of children with Medicaid coverage in Minnesota did not see a dentist in 2016 and 2017. That’s about 377,553 kids in 2017 alone.
Even with dental coverage, many Minnesotans with Medicaid coverage go years without seeing a dentist because they can’t get appointments or don’t have access to providers in their communities. In 2016, nearly 30,000 people with Medicaid coverage drove more than 70 miles to see a dentist.
"I finally found a dentist after two years. It took so much wrangling and fighting. I felt like I was ignored for a long time. People out there need resolutions." — Rachel from St. Paul, who struggled to find a dentist who took patients on public health care programs.
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