The U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report that describes: (1) trends in coverage for, and use of, dental services; (2) trends in payments by individuals and other payers for dental services; and (3) the extent to which dental fees vary between and within selected communities across the nation. According to the report, the percentage of the population with private dental coverage decreased from 53% to 50%. Dental coverage through Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which was established in 1997, rose from 9% to 13%. The increase was due primarily to an increase in the number of children covered by these federal-state health programs with mandated pediatric dental coverage. In addition, the report found that average annual dental payments—the total amount paid out-of-pocket by individuals and by other payers—increased 26%, inflation-adjusted, from $520 in 1996 to $653 in 2010. Average annual out-of-pocket payments increased 21% (from $242 to $294) for individuals with private insurance and 32% (from $392 to $518) for individuals with no dental coverage.
The College Board released a series of reports on the cost of higher education. The Trends in Higher Education publications included the following reports that are of interest to academic dentistry:
- Trends in College Pricing (report)
This report provides information on the prices charged by colleges and universities in 2013–14, how prices have changed over time, and how they vary within and across types of institutions, states and regions. The report also provides information on the net prices that students and families actually pay after taking financial aid into consideration.
- Trends in Student Aid (report)
According to this report, the sharp increases in federal grant aid and in student borrowing accompanying the financial crisis, during the Great Recession, have not been repeated. The report finds that while the federal government continues to play a large and increased role in funding students, spending on both federal grants and federal loans decreased in 2012–13.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released a report finding that approximately 5.2 million low-income, uninsured adults will fall into the “coverage gap,” created by an estimated 26 states choosing not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, in states that do not expand Medicaid, low-income uninsured adults with incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but below the poverty level may fall into a “coverage gap” from earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Health Insurance Marketplace premium tax credits. The report notes that most of these people have very limited coverage options and are likely to remain uninsured. This brief describes the coverage gap and provides state-by-state estimates of the population that falls into this situation.
The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy and the RCHN Community Health Foundation issued a report, which finds that health centers in states expanding their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act will potentially see 2.8 million patients gain coverage and, as a result, will generate a potential revenue increase of over $2 billion