The federal and state programs aimed at providing health insurance to low-income children are Medicaid and the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). AAPD Advocacy supports programs that provide adequate dental benefits, including maintenance of the Medicaid EPSDT (Early, Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment coverage for children) benefit and market-based payment rates in order to maximize patient and provider participation and thereby alleviate oral disease among millions of children. The U.S. Surgeon General reported that 80 percent of all dental disease occurs in only 25 percent of U.S. children. These children are more likely to live in low-income and/or minority families and not only have increased dental disease, but more extensive disease and more treatment for pain. An estimated 4 to 5 million children currently are in acute dental need.

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