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Medicare Oral Health Benefit Passed by the House of Representatives Sets Bold Precedent but Should Be Strengthened to Best Serve Low- and Moderate-Income Enrollees

By Cheryl Fish-Parcham, Shawn Gremminger,


In December 2019, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would add dental coverage to Medicare as part of H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. This is an enormous step in the effort to raise the visibility and importance of covering oral health for Medicare enrollees. However, even if this landmark legislation is enacted as drafted, many seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries would still face barriers to affordable oral care because of high cost-sharing, and potential for insufficient reimbursement rates.

This report makes four recommendations to Congress to ensure that any dental benefit that is added to the Medicare program is designed to make high-quality, affordable oral health care accessible to all beneficiaries, including those with limited incomes. Click the download button below to view the Report.