Disparity in dental coverage among older adult populations: a comparative analysis across selected European countries and the USA

TitleDisparity in dental coverage among older adult populations: a comparative analysis across selected European countries and the USA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsManski, RJ, Moeller, JF, Chen, H, Widstrom, E, Lee, J, Listl, S
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Start Page77
Date Published04/2015
KeywordsCross-National, Healthcare, Insurance, Public Policy

Background Insurance against the cost of preventing and treating oral diseases can reduce inequities in dental-care use and oral health. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent of variation in dental insurance coverage for older adult populations within and between the USA and various European countries. Method The analyses relied on 2006 2007 data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and on 2004 2006 data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in the USA for respondents 51 years of age and older. A series of logistic regression models was estimated to identify disparities in dental coverage. Results The highest extent of significant insurance differences between various population subgroups was found for the USA. In comparison with southern and eastern European countries, a lower number of significant differences in coverage was found for Scandinavian countries. Countries categorised as having comprehensive public insurance coverage showed a tendency towards less insurance variation within their populations than did countries categorised as not having comprehensive public coverage. The exceptions were Poland and Switzerland. Conclusions The findings of the present study suggest that significant variations in dental coverage exist within all elderly populations examined and that the extent of inequalities also differs between countries. By and large, the observed variations corroborate the perception that population dental coverage is more equally distributed under public subsidy. This could be relevant information for decision makers who seek to improve policies in order to provide more equitable dental coverage.

Endnote Keywords

SHARE/cross-national comparison/Dental insurance coverage/dental Care/Public Policy/Oral health

Endnote ID


Citation Key6482