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Brief Examines Five Potential Ways to Improve Dental Coverage for People on Medicare

Medicare does not cover routine dental care, and two-thirds of the Medicare population have no dental coverage at all. With limited or no dental coverage, some incur high out-of-pocket costs, while others forgo need dental care because they can’t afford it. Policymakers in Washington and others are exploring ways to…

Policy Options for Improving Dental Coverage for People on Medicare

Medicare does not cover routine dental care and the majority of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. This brief examines five potential ways to make oral health care more available and affordable for the Medicare population. This brief reviews the limits of dental coverage permitted under current Medicare law, then describes each of the policy options, with an analysis of likely implications for key stakeholders, including Medicare beneficiaries, taxpayers, insurers, and dental professionals

Most Medicare Beneficiaries Lack Dental Coverage, and Many Go Without Needed Care

Almost two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries (65%), or nearly 37 million people, do not have dental coverage and many go without needed care, according to a new KFF brief on dental coverage and costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Rates are even higher among black and Hispanic beneficiaries, and those with low incomes. Medicare…

Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries

Medicare does not cover routine dental care and the majority of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. Some beneficiaries have dental coverage through other sources, including Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and private plans, but almost half of all beneficiaries have not been to the dentist in the past year and many older adults face high out-of-pocket costs for needed dental care. The brief reviews the state of oral health for people on Medicare, describing the consequences of foregoing dental care, current sources of dental insurance, use of dental services, and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending.

Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Adults in Medicaid: Key Themes from a Policy Roundtable

Medicaid and CHIP programs have made significant strides in improving low-income children’s access to and use of dental care, but access to oral health care for low-income adults lags far behind. To probe current opportunities, challenges, and strategies related to expanding access to oral health care for adults in Medicaid, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured convened a group of experts and stakeholders in Spring 2016 to discuss the issues. This brief conveys key themes that emerged from the conversation.

Health Center Patient Trends, Enrollment Activities, and Service Capacity: Recent Experience in Medicaid Expansion and Non-Expansion States

In thousands of medically underserved communities across the U.S., community health centers enroll low-income people in health coverage and provide care to millions of patients. Against the backdrop of significant health center expansion over several years and a full year of expanded health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this brief examines change between 2013 and 2014 in the volume and health coverage profile of health center patients, and health center enrollment activities and service capacity, comparing states that implemented the ACA Medicaid expansion in 2014 and states that did not expand Medicaid in 2014. The study is based on data from the federal Uniform Data System and a 2014 national survey of health centers.

Oral Health: Putting Teeth into the Health Care System

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored an August 17 briefing to discuss oral health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). While PPACA ensures dental coverage for children, challenges remain to improve dental health access and coverage for adults. Speakers will…

Filling the Gaps: Dental Care, Coverage and Access

While the Affordable Care Act is expected to expand public and private coverage for children when it takes effect in 2014, significant gaps will remain, especially for low-income adults age 21 and older. This June 19, 2012, a public forum at the Foundation’s Washington, D.C. offices examined the gaps and…

CHIP TIPS: Children’s Oral Health Benefits

This brief examines a new requirement under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 that state CHIP programs cover comprehensive dental benefits. The reauthorization law also allows states with separate CHIP programs to offer a dental-only plan for children who have other health insurance but lack adequate dental…