By Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com associate editor
October 28, 2021 — Medicare will not pay for dental benefits under a new proposed $1.75 trillion U.S. spending plan released on October 28 by the Biden administration, according to news reports. This leaves an estimated 20 million Medicare recipients without dental coverage.
The future of a Medicare dental benefit has been uncertain since lawmakers and the Biden administration were tasked with whittling down the initial $3.5 trillion U.S. congressional proposed budget, which called for several social and health initiatives, including adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare. Adding all three was estimated to cost more than $350 billion over a decade, and the hearing benefit is the only one to survive under the new proposal, according to reports.
“Simply put, we view this as just another step in the process,” said Michael Graham, senior vice president of ADA government and public affairs, in a statement. “We are continuing to educate Hill offices on the ADA’s position.”
Though many saw adding a dental benefit as making oral healthcare accessible to more patients, the addition to Medicare Part B has been a controversial topic in organized dentistry.