59 million seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care, but it doesn’t cover part of the body that causes all kinds of health problems—the mouth. Families USA has worked with a diverse group of consumer and industry leaders to produce this white paper, An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care.
The 2018 elections provide a chance to bring oral health issues to the forefront of policymaker and public discussions—an important opportunity for an issue that is often forgotten, left behind, or misunderstood. Numerous seats are up for election this year including full U.S. House of Representatives, a third of the U.S. Senate, 36 governorships and many seats in state and local governments.
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.
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.
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.
Families USA has identified some of the biggest legislative victories for health care in the 2018 state legislative sessions.
As advocates engage with local and state candidates in the months leading up to the election in November, we urge them to ask candidates these key questions on their commitment to protecting consumers’ access to health care.