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Med Care Res Rev. 2009 Aug;66(4):456-71. doi: 10.1177/1077558709334896. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Medical and dental care utilization and expenditures under Medicaid and private health insurance.

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Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20006, USA.


Data from the 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used to conduct a disaggregated comparison of utilization and expenditures under Medicaid and private health insurance for low-income adults and children. After adjustment for health status and other factors, Medicaid adults and children had greater use of prescription drugs than the privately insured, but there were no significant differences in prescription expenditures. Adults on Medicaid had lower utilization of office-based medical and dental care and much lower expenditures than the privately insured. Contrary to stereotypes, there were no significant differences between Medicaid adults and children and the privately insured in emergency, outpatient, or inpatient hospital use, and the former had significantly lower expenditures.

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