Grant Project Title: 
Improving Oral Health for Low-Income Older Adults: Continuing to Strengthen Advocacy for Medicare Dental Benefits
Grantee Address: 
Justice in Aging
1444 Eye St. N.W.
Washington, DC
United States
This investment provides continued support to Justice in Aging to continue to engage key stakeholders—including policymakers, advocacy groups, and OPEN members—around the importance of, and implementation strategy for, a dental benefit in Medicare. Justice in Aging began its relationship with this work as an unfunded partner, playing a critical role in our efforts towards a Medicare dental benefit and expanding its role on the issue within California. Justice in Aging is an equity-driven organization, continually emphasizing how certain policies/programs might impact underserved communities. Within the network, their work has focused on the benefit design and supporting joint advocacy efforts – leveraging their Medicare expertise and network. During the previous grant, Justice in Aging has presented at the Families USA Health Action conference as part of the workshop “Modernizing Medicare to Close Its Gaps,” placing the lack of oral health benefits in the context of other gaps in Medicare; conducted initial legal research and policy analysis regarding potential value-based models for the delivery of oral health services in Medicare; presented on value-based models in Medicare for DentaQuest Partnership’s Medicare Dental Benefits Meeting in January 2020; and released several publications on various issues including oral health disparities for older adults, the legal implications for adding a dental benefit in Medicare Part B, and how a Medicare dental benefit can be leveraged to address racial disparities in health care outcomes. Moving forward, Justice in Aging is working on an issue brief regarding oral health disparities for younger people with disabilities, forthcoming in spring/summer 2020. Through this grant, Justice in Aging will continue to support work to re-define the Medicare dental benefit, including overall structure design, VBC models, and any considerations given COVID-19, including the disparities that the disease has highlighted; continue to engage its older adults and disabilities networks around oral health and intentionally recruit disabilities groups in this work; and support OPEN advocacy for Medicare dental benefit as well as the overall oral health needs of older adults. $80,387 will be used to support staff time and communications materials necessary for the work’s implementation.
Grant Date: 
Monday, June 1, 2020 to Monday, May 31, 2021
Grant Amount: