Professional Dental Care Utilization Drops Once Americans Enroll in Medicare
Medicare does not offer a dental benefit and this fact significantly impacts dental care usage among Americans ages 65 and older. Health Affairs reviewed data from the 2010–19 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys on more than 97,000 Americans and found that the lack of dental benefits correlates to serious declines in dental care utilization among Medicare enrollees. The rate of edentulism increased by nearly five points once subjects turned 65 and utilization of restorative dental care dropped by 8.7 points in the same sample. Americans who also had coverage under a Medicare Advantage plan, which provides some dental benefits, did not access dental care more than those covered under Medicare only. Click here to read more.