This new bill would add dental benefits for Medicare users in the United States.
Nonprofit CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has given its full support to a new bill that would introduce comprehensive dental benefits to Medicare in the United States, according to a press release from the group.
“Oral health care is essential health care, and we know that a person’s inability to access dental care presents a clear threat to overall health, especially for some of our most vulnerable populations,” President and CEO of CareQuest Institute Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, says in the press release. “Poor oral health has a direct connection to increased risks of chronic illnesses and can negatively affect mental health and overall quality of life. Still, millions of people with Medicare—a population that often faces comorbidities associated with periodontal disease like diabetes, heart disease, and dementia—don’t have access to this basic and necessary coverage.”
The Medicare Dental Benefit Act of 2023, introduced by United States Representative Nanette Barragan and United States Senator Ben Cardin, aims to help those on Medicare receive the same kind of benefits for dental that they do for medical, further strengthening the oral-systemic connection. Per Dr Minter-Jordan, inequities for older dental patients and patients with disabilities can be addressed through this bill.
“Adding a dental benefit to Medicare is a commonsense measure that would save taxpayer money, improve health outcomes, and address the inequities that have existed for far too long in our health care system,” Dr Minter-Jordan says.