The Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act
New legislation has been introduced to expand Medicaid and Medicare coverage to include basic dental, vision, and hearing access. With over 148 million people relying on Medicare and Medicaid as their primary source of health coverage, this addition would change many lives.
Currently, Medicaid can provide optional vision, dental, and hearing services, but the coverage varies by state. The Medicare and Medicaid Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act would increase federal investment in Medicaid to incite states to provide comprehensive coverage.
Furthermore, it will allow Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing services. U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are at the helm of the legislation. Senator Cardin said, “More than 40 percent of Americans are enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid. Among adults, most of these individuals do not have comprehensive health coverage for vision, dental, or hearing benefits, often leaving them without the care they need to protect their health and quality of life.”
Cardin continued, “Congress has an opportunity to ensure that serious health conditions can be avoided or caught early.”
According to research, untreated dental, vision, and hearing issues can result in adverse physical and mental health effects. Adults with lower incomes or without private insurance are three times more likely to have four or more untreated cavities than those with higher incomes. Vision impairment is linked to a higher risk of falls and restricted mobility in older adults. Hearing loss is associated with a greater likelihood of social isolation and cognitive deterioration.
“Introducing this new legislation can provide more care for long-term care facilities and their patients. Strengthening this coverage would allow patients access to even more care, leading to healthier lives,” – Joe Kubulak, Chief Operating Officer at SpecialtyRx.