LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 23, 2013) — New data from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) show 1.7 million Kentucky adults do not have dental insurance. To put that into perspective, the number of Kentucky adults without dental coverage is now more than 10 times the number of people who will be at Churchill Downs for next month’s Kentucky Derby.
“Oral health is essential to overall health,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, president/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Yet, our research indicates a majority of Kentuckians do not have dental coverage, so it is not surprising that a large number of adults do not have a personal dentist or oral health provider.”
♦ More than half (51 percent) of Kentucky adults reported having no dental insurance of any kind.
♦ Almost half (49 percent) of those without insurance skipped getting dental care or check-ups in the past year because of the cost.
♦ Nearly four in 10 (39 percent) said they do not have a personal dentist or oral health provider.
♦ Almost eight in 10 (79 percent) of those without a personal dentist or oral health provider indicated they last visited a dentist or dental clinic more than five years ago.
♦ Just over six in 10 (61 percent) of Kentucky adults reported they visited a dentist or dental clinic with the past year, compared to seven in 10 (70 percent) of adults nationwide.
The KHIP was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. The poll was conducted Sept. 20 through Oct. 14 by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,680 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of ±2.5 percent.