By Families USA
It’s time for Congress to ensure that people who rely on Medicare for health insurance can afford oral health care. Medicare does not currently cover dental care, leaving millions of people in pain and unable to get the care everyone needs to stay healthy. For too many older adults and people with disabilities, oral health care is too expensive, putting it out of reach even in an emergency.
The White House Build Back Better "framework" released on Oct 28 doesn't have Medicare oral health coverage included at this time. BUT THIS IS NOT A DONE DEAL.
We can change this if we speak up TODAY, ASAP. Please contact your members of Congress (below). We need to tell them loud and clear that they cannot drop Medicare dental coverage. It is much too needed, much too popular, and too big of an equity issue to go quietly.
About 4,638,573 older adults and people with disabilities in Florida would not only be able to get important dental care, but also would be healthier, have lower health care costs, be better able to get and keep jobs, and have an easier time overcoming social isolation.
Oral Health Care Is Too Expensive for Floridians
Dental care is the number one medical service that people across America skip due to the cost. Without Medicare oral health coverage, 32% of older adults in Florida have not seen a dentist in over a year, even before the pandemic. 13% of older adults in Florida have lost all of their natural teeth, often because getting timely oral health care is too expensive. Medicare does not cover dentures.
Oral Health Coverage Saves the Health Care System Money
Emergency dental visits for preventable oral health conditions cost the U.S. health system nearly $2 billion per year. Many of these costs could easily be avoided if people were able to afford timely, appropriate dental care. When lack of oral health coverage prevents people from getting care, we all pay for the increased costs to our health care system.
Expanding Oral Health Coverage Is Enormously Popular, Bipartisan
When voters are asked which health care issues Congress should work on this year, adding Medicare dental, vision, and hearing coverage is far and away the most popular health care proposal that is currently on the table.
You can help make this a reality for millions of Floridians and Americans. Write your congressional representatives and urge them to add oral health coverage to Medicare!