Why Isn’t Dental Care Covered By Medicare?by Richard Kuehn on 07/18/21
One of the great mysteries of the Medicare program is why they do not cover any dental work. Many seniors forgo having dental work done because they can’t afford it, which can have a serious domino effect on their health. The New York Times ran a story last month (June 13, page 8) about Ellen Phillips, who let a lot of teeth problems slide and eventually had to have all of her teeth extracted at a cost of $32,000. The work was necessary because she needed heart surgery, and having dental infection or gum disease can allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream, causing serios surgical complications. Some supplemental Medicare Advantage plans do offer a limited amount of dental coverage, but none would have covered the massive work that Ms. Phillips went through. President Biden has proposed adding dental, vision and hearing coverage to Medicare. I hope he is successful.