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Tell Congress to strengthen Medicare by adding oral health coverage

 

Why now?

Congress is working on significant legislation — including adding dental coverage to Medicare — that could improve the lives of millions of Americans. Take action today by sharing your voice.

Step 1:

Contact your members of Congress.

Our partner, Center for Medicare Advocacy, makes it quick and easy for you to contact your members of Congress. All you need is your name and address. Once you've sent your message, check out our advocacy toolkit to help spread the word to colleagues, friends, and family.

Step 2:

Share your story.

Are you a Medicare beneficiary or a caretaker of an aging or disabled loved one who needs dental care? Your story is critical to the fight for Medicare dental coverage. Join us by sharing your voice. Submit your story to our partner, FamiliesUSA.

Step 3:

Spread the word.

Elected officials need to hear directly from their constituents — people just like you — about the issues that matter most to them. Below, we’ve put together a short toolkit to help you (and anyone you’d like to tell!) reach out to your representatives in Congress directly via email, phone, or social media.

Email Template

Dear [colleagues, patients, friends],

I am writing to urge you to join me in fighting to strengthen Medicare for our nation’s older adults and people with disabilities by adding comprehensive dental coverage to the program. 

Health care, including oral health care, is a key determinant of economic stability, social connectedness, and overall wellness. Poor oral health leads to poor overall health outcomes and higher health care costs, especially for those with chronic diseases, mental illness, and other conditions that impact us as we age. And yet, our health care system has made it nearly impossible for Medicare beneficiaries to access the essential oral health care they need. 

The lack of an oral health benefit in Medicare means that more than 37 million older adults and people with disabilities do not have dental coverage. These are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and other people of color, those with disabilities, and those living in rural communities who are left without access to the affordable care they need to maintain overall health. In fact, in the last year, 7 out of 10 Black Medicare beneficiaries and 6 out of 10 Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries did not see a dentist, and 20% of rural seniors have not seen a dentist in more than five years.  

Click here to fill out this simple form and share your voice with Congress.



Talking Points


  • Oral health care is essential health care.
  • Poor oral health leads to poor overall health outcomes and higher health care costs, especially for those with chronic diseases, mental illness, and other conditions that impact us as we age.
  • And yet, today more than 37 million Medicare beneficiaries do not have access to critical oral health coverage.
  • Lack of oral health coverage in Medicare is disproportionately impacting marginalized communities. For example, in the last year 7 out of 10 Black Medicare beneficiaries and 6 out of 10 Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries did not see a dentist, and 20% of rural older adults have not seen a dentist in more than 5 years.  
  • This is a bipartisan issue. In fact, nearly 90% of Democrats and 80% of Republicans favor adding dental coverage to Medicare. 
  • Will you commit to helping millions of older adults and people with disabilities get access to necessary oral health care by supporting the inclusion of a comprehensive dental benefit in Medicare? 

 

Engage with Congress on Social Media

Find and tag your members of Congress on Twitter

Use these sample social posts to engage with your members of Congress online.

Act now! Ask your elected officials to include comprehensive #dental coverage in #Medicare. Because #oralhealth is health! www.carequest.org/medicaredental

@INSERT HANDLE will you support our seniors by adding dental, vision, and hearing coverage to #Medicare?

#DYK that adding a #dental, vision, and hearing coverage to #Medicare is supported by 84% of voters? #wholepersonhealth

Nearly 90% of Democrats and 80% of Republicans favor adding #dental coverage to #Medicare! https://morningconsult.com/2021/06/30/health-care-proposals-reconciliation-bill-polling/

#Oralhealth is health! It’s time to include comprehensive #dental coverage in #Medicare