Nobody wants a root canal, but millions of Americans with mouth pain know it might be their best shot at protecting a tooth and stopping an infection from spreading—if they can afford it. Oral health affects all health and too many people in this country cannot access care. That’s why the Senate is considering the Action for Dental Health Act. But this measure should be the first appointment on our nation’s oral health checkup.
Six million Californians rely on the Medicare program. Nationally, about two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries do not have any coverage for oral health care. Medicare currently covers almost no oral health care. This fact sheet describes how seniors are affected by this lack coverage.
In July, Families USA joined the American Dental Association, Oral Health America, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, DentaQuest Foundation, Santa Fe Group and other industry leaders, in releasing An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care, a white paper on the need for Medicare to include dental coverage.
We would like to share just one story about how a Medicare oral health benefit could change someone’s life. Cheryl in Olympia, Washington, has gone nearly 10 years without comprehensive oral health care.
Mississippi has submitted a revision of its Medicaid waiver now up for federal comment. This revised waiver would allow affected parents to retain Medicaid for up to 24 months of “transitional medical assistance” for each month that they comply with the work requirement and its associated documentation.
The Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock on protections for health care consumers established by the Affordable Care Act. This latest act of sabotage on the health law came in the form of a final rule released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule makes it legal to sell “short-term insurance” plans for long periods of time that do not comply with the ACA’s consumer protections.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a final rule that is dangerous to consumers and to health care marketplaces. This rule would expand the sale of “short-term limited duration plans” that do not have to comply with the consumer protections afforded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and often leave consumers uncovered for major medical expenses.
Federal administrators are hoping to re-approve Kentucky’s Medicaid 1115 waiver, Kentucky HEALTH, after it was recently blocked in federal court. In response to the court ruling, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is once again collecting comments on the waiver. This is an enormous opportunity for advocates to weigh in.
Comments Matter and Can Influence Approvals, Court Decisions
Those hottest days of summer have arrived, which means that it's finally the season of congressional recess. The House began its August recess this week and will return to Washington on September 4th. The Senate is taking a truncated August recess this year, coming home the week of August 6-10th. It will be in session for the remainder of the month.
As advocates engage with congressional candidates in the months leading up to the election in November, we urge them to ask candidates these six questions on their commitment to protecting consumers’ access to health care.