Dental Coverage in Medicare

Presented by Meredith Freed, MPP

Senior Policy Analyst - Kaiser Family Foundation

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Course Description: Medicare, the national health insurance program for more than 62 million older adults and younger beneficiaries with disabilities, does not generally cover dental care, and many people on Medicare have no dental coverage at all. Some Medicare beneficiaries have access to dental coverage through other sources, such as Medicare Advantage plans, but the scope of dental benefits, when covered, varies widely and is often quite limited. This presentation will describe the state of dental coverage in Medicare and share data on dental use and out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries.

Objectives: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the latest data on dental coverage in Medicare, use of dental care, including by beneficiary characteristic, out-of-pocket spending, and cost-related barriers to care
  • Describe the scope of dental benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans
  • Explain recent policy efforts to include a dental benefit in Medicare and the status of those efforts

Meredith Freed is a Policy Analyst with KFF’s Program on Medicare Policy. She performs research and analysis on a broad range of issues related to Medicare and the population it serves, including oral health, Medicare Advantage, prescription drug costs, and Medicare spending and financing.

Prior to joining the KFF, she was a Senior Research Assistant at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, where she worked on a wide variety of projects related to FDA regulation.

Meredith holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

This speaker has declared no commercial conflict of interest relative to this presentation.