One of the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s top priorities is to expand Medicare coverage to include oral and dental care for all beneficiaries. We have also long advocated for coverage of medically necessary oral health care, which is currently supported by the Medicare statue but is significantly limited in practice due to Medicare policy.
In the opening days of the new Congress, Senator Ben Cardin (Maryland) introduced the Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2019 (S. 22). According to a January 4, 2019 press release issued by the senator’s office, the proposed bill “would repeal the statutory exclusion on Medicare coverage of dental care and dentures” in the Medicare statute, and would expand “Part B benefits to cover dental and oral health services, including routine cleanings and exams, fillings and crowns, major services such as root canals and extractions, emergency dental care, and other necessary services.”
The Center joined Families USA, Justice in Aging, and Oral Health America in offering support for this legislation.