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Having dental insurance doesn’t mean it’s used

ADA analyzes 2013 expenditures

June 01, 2016

More than one third of adults with private dental benefits didn’t file a dental claim in 2013, according to the ADA Health Policy Institute.

In a research brief posted May 16, HPI analyzed the dental spending patterns of more than 5.9 million adults aged 19-64 with private dental benefits. They found that 36.5 percent didn’t use any of their dental benefits in 2013, and when that number was broken down, 44.5 percent of adults 19-34 didn’t file a single claim. 

The brief also found:

  • Fees paid to dentists through private dental benefits plans are significantly lower than market fees, leading to “substantial differences” in total dental spending estimates based on market vs. actual fees.
  • For the majority of adults — 69 percent — total copayments, coinsurance and premiums exceed the market value of their dental care.

Read the full brief here.