This study evaluates how large changes in public health insurance coverage affect provider behavior and patient wait times by analyzing a common type of primary care: dental services. When states expand coverage of dental services to adult Medicaid beneficiaries, dentists' participation in Medicaid increases and dentists see more publicly insured patients. Dentists supply more visits but only modestly increase the amount of time spent working. They achieve this in part by making greater use of dental hygienists. Wait times increase modestly, with the largest increases in wait times observed in states with restrictive scope of practice laws governing dental hygienists.
Buchmueller, Thomas, Sarah Miller, and Marko Vujicic.
"How Do Providers Respond to Changes in Public Health Insurance Coverage? Evidence from Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
Analysis of Health Care Markets
Health Insurance, Public and Private
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing