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Nearly 200 Stakeholders Thank House Committee Chairs for Dental Coverage in Medicare Part B

09.23.2021

Over 180 organizations and advocates representing health care consumers, older adults, people with disabilities, patients, providers, industry, social service, and others, have joined to thank Speaker Pelosi and Chairs Neal and Pallone for the legislation advanced in the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees that adds oral health coverage to Medicare Part B.

This extension of Medicare Part B to include dental, vision, and hearing coverage is a critical piece of rebuilding our nation’s health and wellbeing. Dental coverage that will ensure that oral health care is no longer unaffordable and out of reach is particularly important to economic recovery and health equity.

  • Adding oral health coverage to Medicare Part B would allow 60 million older adults and people with disabilities to not only be able to get important dental care, but to also be healthier, have lower health care costs, and be better able to get and keep jobs.
  • Even before the pandemic, roughly half of Medicare enrollees did not have a dental visit in the past year—often skipping care due to cost. Moreover, 68% of Black beneficiaries and 61% of Hispanic beneficiaries did not have a dental visit in the same year.

The signers look forward to continuing work with the House and Senate to move Medicare dental coverage forward and where possible, to strengthen the legislation before final passage. Specifically supporting improvements that would ensure that major dental services (which are the hardest to afford) are covered at 80%, in line with other Part B services, and that dental coverage reaches Medicare enrollees sooner than seven years from now.

Click the download button below to view the Comment Letter.