On July 20, 2021, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and nine other organizations sent a letter to Congress and the Biden Administration, urging them to move forward with improvements to the Medicare program as part of creating a more equitable and affordable health care and prescription drug system. The Center was joined by Alliance for Retired Americans, Families USA, Justice in Aging, Medicare Rights Center, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, National Council on Aging and Social Security Works.
The groups recommended priorities for strengthening Medicare, including:
- Add a Comprehensive Oral Health Benefit
- Add Hearing Coverage
- Expand Vision Coverage
- Reduce Prescription Drug Prices and Out-of-Pocket Costs
- Improve the Medicare Savings Programs’ (MSPs) Low-Income Protections
- Add an Out-of-Pocket Cap to traditional Medicare
- Strengthen the Home Health Benefit
- Improve Chronic Care
- Modernize and improve Medigap Enrollment
The joint letter is available here.In addition, last week, the Center issued an Action Alert urging individuals to contact their members of Congress to push for many of these goals. We encourage you to contact your legislators as momentum builds for Medicare improvements.
Oral Health / Dental Coverage
Among these suggested improvements is one of the Center’s long-standing goals – adding a comprehensive oral health benefit to the Medicare program. As legislators finally begin to understand what the public has known all along – that oral health is critical to overall health – the Center issued an Oral Health Action Alert this week asking individuals to contact and urge their federal lawmakers to include dental coverage in Medicare.
Both of these Action Alerts are still available for anyone who wishes to use them, and both can be found at https://medicareadvocacy.org/take-action/.
For more information on the need for oral health coverage, see the Center’s Medicare Oral Health Fact Sheets:
- Fact Sheet – Important Facts about Medicare & Dental /Oral Health Coverage
- Fact Sheet – Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis, and Joint Replacement
- Fact Sheet – Dental Issues Related to Cancer Treatment
- Fact Sheet – The Dental and Heart Disease Relationship
- Fact Sheet – The Diabetes and Dental Disease Connection
- Fact Sheet – Dental Issues Related to Pulmonary Diseases
July 22, 2021 – D. Lipschutz