Children in Medicaid who begin preventive dental care by age one have lifetime dental costs that are nearly 40 percent less than those who start care later.  However, despite being entitled to free dental services, fewer than half of the nation’s 32 million Medicaid-enrolled children receive any dental care in a given year.

In an effort to make oral health care more accessible for low-income women and children, the State of New Hampshire’s Division of Public Health Services partnered with the state’s Medicaid agency and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to create a pilot project, Pay-for-Prevention, that offers preventive dental services for children and pregnant women at WIC offices.

This profile details New Hampshire’s experiences with the Pay-for-Prevention pilot and offers considerations for state agencies, federal policymakers, and others interested in exploring alternative channels for reaching low-income individuals with oral health education and care. It also outlines early results and considerations for those interested in integrating oral health care with community-based services.

The State of New Hampshire developed its Pay-for-Prevention project as a participant of the Medicaid Oral Health Learning Collaborative, led by the Center for Health Care Strategies and supported by the DentaQuest Foundation CHIP.