Representatives introduce Medicare dental coverage bill

Reps. Steven Horsford, D-Nev. and Robin Kelly, D-Ill., co-authored a bill that would allow Medicare Part B to cover most dental services.

Announced July 23, the bill would cover 37 million beneficiaries who currently lack dental coverage. Mr. Horsford said in the announcement that nearly half of seniors cite cost as a core reason they skip dental care, which the expansion seeks to address. 

"Prolonged lack of access to dental care can lead to other serious medical conditions, and communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Bad oral health has been linked to heart disease, dementia, kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis," Ms. Kelly said. "Rep. Horsford and I are introducing the Medicare Dental Coverage Act to ensure that every Medicare beneficiary can receive affordable dental care to keep themselves healthy and prevent unnecessary healthcare costs down the line."

The Medicare Dental Coverage Act of 2021 would cover oral exams, dental cleanings, dental X-rays and fluoride treatments. It would also cover denture sets on a five-year basis, or more frequently given a dentist recommendation. 

The full bill can be read here.

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