Toolkit Calls for Adding Dental Benefits to Medicare

Dentistry Today


Regular dental care saves older adults with chronic diseases $1,037 in medical bills, reports Oral Health America (OHA), though traditional plans don’t include preventive dental care or routine treatment. Also, according to OHA, one in 5 adults 65 years of age or older have untreated tooth decay, while two-thirds of seniors earning less than $35,000 cannot afford dental care.

To help alleviate these and other burdens, OHA’s Medicare Dental Toolkit provides information and other materials for those who advocate the addition of dental benefits to Medicare. These resources are designed to support communication and partnerships among allied organizations and policymakers to forge a path toward achieving dental coverage in Medicare. 

Tools include an infographic, a social media guide with shareables, and a position paper. The toolkit also provides “A State of Decay,” a supplemental report that breaks down the oral health of the nation’s older population, state by state. OHA aims to make the package a living toolkit with new collateral added monthly.

“This organic toolkit will be a valuable asset for our partners and other organizations that are championing a dental benefit in Medicare,” said Beth Truett, OHA president and CEO. “With almost 55 million older adults receiving their healthcare services through Medicare, and that number growing each day, now is the time to elevate the conversation around the creation of a publicly funded dental benefit.”

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