A Weak Effort At Medicare Dental Coverage

It may be a case where we should be thankful that there is at least a recognition that the mouth needs insurance coverage as much as the rest of the body. According to a recent article in Health Affairs, “Medicare Parts A and B will begin coverage of dental treatment to eliminate oral infection prior to solid organ transplant and select cardiac procedures in 2023, and prior to head and neck cancer treatment in 2024. CMS will also generate an annual review process for coverage of other medically necessary dental treatment.”

This is extremely narrow coverage that will not affect a lot of people but it is a start. In 2019 and 2021 the U.S. House passed a Medicare dental benefit bill but the U.S. Senate did not adopt it. The Build Back Better Act originally included Medicare dental coverage but that was removed because of lobbying by the American Dental Association.