CHA Supports Expansion of Medicare Dental Coverage

dental coverage - senior woman and son behind her - both smiling outside

California Health Advocates submitted comments in strong support for expanding Medicare’s coverage for medically necessary dental services, as outlined in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ proposed rule. 

Medicare typically will not cover care to address dental problems that are caused by a medical condition or treatment, or that could jeopardize their medical condition or treatment. Often dental care is cost prohibitive without Medicare coverage, leading many beneficiaries to forgo dental care and thereby jeopardize their other medical treatments. This can have catastrophic consequences for beneficiaries in terms of their treatment, quality of life and overall health outcomes.

We applaud CMS for recognizing that medically necessary dental care can be necessary in order to properly treat other diagnosed medical conditions, such as certain cancer treatments, organ transplants, managing diabetes, as well as many other critical treatments for other medical conditions.

We are committed to health equity in health care. We know that the lack of coverage for medically necessary dental care most impacts underserved populations and communities of color, exacerbating underlying disparities. We would like to emphasize that this CMS proposal to expand Medicare coverage for medically necessary dental services would improve access, improve outcomes and mitigate these health disparities.

Read the full letter.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.