Substantial oral health-related disparities exist across the United States based on race, ethnicity, geography, income, and insurance status, among others. Medicaid  ̶  given its size and diversity of enrollees  ̶  has significant opportunities to eliminate systemic inequities in oral health access, reduce long-standing disparities, and advance oral health equity. There is limited information, however, on state efforts to improve oral health equity among Medicaid-enrolled populations.

This brief from the Center for Health Care Strategies describes common barriers for addressing oral health equity for Medicaid populations and outlines recommendations to improve oral health access and quality within four key areas: (1) coverage and access; (2) workforce capacity building; (3) partnerships; and (4) payment. The brief, produced with support from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, highlights opportunities for Medicaid to partner with community-based organizations and Medicaid enrollees to reduce oral health disparities and advance oral health equity.