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06 September 2021

New answers about Medicare dental benefit proposals

Katherine E. Pfaff

“The ADA has a duty to respond when Congress intends to act on adding a dental benefit to Medicare.”

This was one of the key messages in a new FAQ the ADA created in order to explain the ADA’s response to a legislative proposal currently being considered by Congress that would expand the nation’s Medicare program to include dental, hearing and vision benefits.

On Aug. 23, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a budget resolution, previously passed by the Senate, which included a provision to expand Medicare. The resolution did not include any specifics on how such an expansion would be structured. In the FAQ, the ADA addresses many questions dentists may have on the proposed Medicare dental benefit, including why the Association feels the need to weigh in.

“If the ADA does not lobby this issue, Congress will act without the ADA’s input, thereby creating a Medicare dental program that will not benefit patients or practitioners,” the FAQ said.

The FAQ said the ADA believes that any expansion of Medicare to include dental benefits should be through a separate and new program dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care for low-income seniors. It also explains that the current Medicare Part B structure is “wrong for dentistry” for many reasons including electronic health record requirements, coding and payment parameters “vastly different” from medicine, unknown reimbursement levels and more.

Source: https://www.ada.org/

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