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Since 1986, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has been a passionate educator and advocate, working to ensure access to Medicare and quality health care. In difficult times, we need your help to be the voice for those people who have nobody to speak for them.

Current Actions (3 – Medically Necessary Dental ServicesStories Needed; Observation Status Petition)

1.  Support Medically Necessary Oral Health Care in Medicare.

For the past few years, a coalition of beneficiary advocates, disease organizations, industry groups,  oral health and medical health professionals has been advocating for medically necessary oral health care to be covered by Medicare, as authorized under current law.  The Coalition recently launched a web-based platform for members of the public to express their support and urge the Administration to provide critical coverage for Medicare beneficiaries for medically necessary oral health care.  Please consider participating and spreading the word. The platform is:

2. We Need Your Stories 

  • Tell the New Administration Why Our National Healthcare Programs Matter!

What have these programs meant to you?  If you could, what would you like to tell policy-makers about your experiences with Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act? How have they helped you?  How would you be harmed if they were taken away?

Tell your stories today at

  • Do you have an Improvement Standard Story?

Under the Jimmo Settlement Agreement, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Vermont Legal Aid will be monitoring compliance with the terms of the settlement.  We want to hear from you. Please keep us informed of your experiences, both positive and negative.

  • Do You Have an Observation Status Story?

We need to show CMS that this problem affects thousands of people across the country, so in partnership with the John A. Hartford Foundation, we are collecting stories from the people who have been directly impacted. We hope to get at least a few stories from every state.

If you’ve been impacted by the use of “outpatient” Observation Status directly, or know someone who has, please take a few moments to submit your story at

Then tell CMS that they created the problem of Observation Status, and they can fix it – Sign our Petition, below.

3. Observation Status Petition:

Other Actions:

Support Medicare Coverage of Hearing Care

A June 2, 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called hearing loss a public health priority and social health responsibility. The Report’s findings demonstrate the urgent need to update Medicare coverage to reflect the serious health issues that stem from hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects nearly 30 million Americans, but only 1 in 5 people diagnosed with hearing issues have hearing aids – in large part because Medicare currently excludes coverage for hearing aids and related audiology services.  Even mild hearing loss has been shown to double the risk of dementia. Further, hearing loss is directly related to a variety of cognitive impairments, isolation, depression, and increased risk for falls.

Legislation has been proposed which could close this gap in coverage:

  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced the Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2015 (H.R. 1653), which would allow Medicare to provide coverage for hearing aids.
  • Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced the Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act of 2016 (H.R. 5396) which would add hearing, vision and dental services to Medicare.

Contact your Representative today to urge their support for this important legislation.

Oral Health Care is Health Care!

Sign our petition to Remind CMS that Medicare should be covering Medically necessary oral health care.

  • Medicare was created to help older people and people with disabilities.  It should not deny clinically essential or life-saving treatments simply because those treatments occur within the mouth.
  • The Medicare statute does not prohibit coverage for non-routine dental or oral procedures that are medically critical to the treatment of illnesses, diseases, injuries, and health conditions.
  • The Senate Report that accompanied the original Medicare legislation explained that the “specific exclusion of routine dental care” was intended “to make clear that the services of dental surgeons covered under the bill are restricted to complex surgical procedures.”

Other Ways to Get Involved: