This advocacy agenda offers options for improving health and health care at the state level during the 2019 session. It includes state policy options to consider in 2019 regarding private insurance coverage, Medicaid, oral health coverage, health equity, prescription drugs, surprise medical bills, and health care value.
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.
Medicare doesn’t cover one part of the body that causes many health problems—the mouth. Two-thirds of the seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare do not have any oral health coverage and their health is worse for it. Millions of people could live healthier, happier lives if oral health coverage is added to Medicare.
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.
Updated for the 2019 plan year, Families USA and the Children’s Dental Health Project published this guide to help families choose a pediatric oral health plan in their state’s marketplace. During open enrollment, choosing an oral health plan can be confusing, especially because dental coverage is often sold separately from a family’s health coverage. This guide explains what sorts of oral health plans you are likely to find and how to choose the one that works best for your family.
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.
Millions of seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care, but it does not cover their oral health care. Even if someone needs dental care in order to have a medical procedure—like a kidney transplant patient who needs an oral infection treated to begin surgery -- Medicare won’t cover the oral health care.
Millions of seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare for their health care, but it does not cover their oral health care. Even if someone needs dental care in order to have a medical procedure—like a kidney transplant patient who needs an oral infection treated to begin surgery -- Medicare won’t cover the oral health care. Luckily, coverage of “medically necessary” dental care could be added to Medicare through CMS’s administrative authority fairly easily without any need for legislation.
Families USA is encouraged to see oral health coming up early in the 116th Congress with Senator Cardin introducing S. 22, the Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019 earlier this week. This legislation serves as an important opportunity for Congress to take a major step to improve the oral health, overall well-being, and financial security of seniors and people with disabilities in this country. Families USA is proud to join our partners at Oral Health America, Justice in Aging, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy in a letter supporting the major provisions of this bill.
Oral health matters for seniors in rural California. This population faces major barriers to good oral health, including cost, lack of dental coverage, and limited access to providers. Without addressing these barriers, rural seniors' overall health is worse, and our health care system is paying the price. Our new factsheet explains these barriers that California’s rural seniors face and the solutions policy makers can take to address them.