|According to the Health Policy Institute, 59% of adults aged 19 - 64 have private dental benefits and 7.4% have dental benefits through Medicaid. Medicaid and Medicare dental benefits for adults over 65 are often limited, which means lower income adults and older adults get dental care less frequently than needed. Which, as evidence of the connection between oral health and overall health shows, can lead to more serious health conditions in the future. It’s more important than ever to increase access to preventive dental care by expanding and protecting adult dental benefits.
Benefits Under Medicaid and Medicare
As of 2020, only 18 states have extensive dental benefits as part of Medicaid. Three states have no coverage and 10 cover only dental emergencies. This map provides a snapshot:
Medicare does not mandate coverage for the treatment of dental disease, nor does it cover most dental care, procedures or supplies. Some Medicare beneficiaries get access to dental coverage through Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid or private insurance, but benefits vary widely and are often limited when compared to other plans.