Medicare Coverage for Dental Issues Might Expand

December 05, 2022

According to several reports, Medicare coverage for dental issues might expand in the coming year, giving people another option. According to statistics, more than 62 million people have a Medicare insurance policy. These people enjoy coverage for many services and treatments, including lab tests, doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and surgical procedures. The program has long had one blind spot that leaves beneficiaries vulnerable to poor health outcomes. The typical Medicare plan does not provide coverage for dental care. Some sources say this may soon change, though, with some Medicare plan options rolling out coverage for dental services.

Why Medicare Coverage for Dental Issues Might Increase

Learn more about why Medicare is considering extending dental care coverage and how this new coverage could benefit you.

Medicare Benefits From Beneficiaries’ Better Health

Medicare offers affordable or free medical care, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for a charity. Indeed, Medicare still seeks to generate revenue by collecting from insureds’ premium payments, payroll taxes, and Social Security taxes. To continue offering services without losing money, the Medicare program must find ways to reduce costs. Analysts have found that providing dental care may aid in this goal. Insureds who receive dental care benefits may ultimately be less costly thanks to better health outcomes, thus making oral health benefits beneficial to the program.

Medicare Covers Preventive Care

Some advocates have fought for the inclusion of Medicare dental coverage because Medicare purports to cover preventive health — and dental care is one of the most vital preventative healthcare services available. In addition to minimizing the risk of cavities and gingivitis, dental care can benefit cardiovascular health, too. Individuals unable to maintain adequate oral health may be at a greater risk of a bloodborne bacterial infection, which can injure the heart’s valves.

Medicare Serves the Most Vulnerable People

Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation between poverty and a lack of access to dental care. It is concerning for anybody, but it’s especially alarming for Medicare recipients. Medicare is only available to people over 65 or receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Both of these groups — elderly people and people with disabilities — are likely to lack the resources to seek out dental care on their own. It leaves vulnerable people at an increased risk of poor oral health — and all of the medical consequences that can follow.

Oral Healthcare Is Relatively Low-Cost

Finally, Medicare may offer dental benefits because of the comparatively low cost that they impose. For example, the aforementioned link between dental care and cardiovascular health proves that the expense of dental care is likely much less than the expense of preventable health complications. Medicare can improve outcomes for beneficiaries, minimize program costs, and reduce disease rates by providing dental care benefits to its insureds.

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