65% of Medicare enrollees have no dental coverage

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As the relationship between oral health and overall health is becoming more widely known, many Medicare beneficiaries in the U.S. lack dental coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

Kaiser Family Foundation examined data from the 2016 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey; Medicare Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse data from 5 percent of beneficiaries for2016; and CMS Medicare Advantage Enrollment, Benefit and Landscape files from 2016.

Medicare, with more than 60 million members, does not cover routine dental care.

Because the national insurance program doesn't cover dental care, around 35 percent, or 37 million people, have no dental coverage.

Below is a further breakdown of Medicare enrollees:

• Not been to the dentist in the past year — 49 percent
• Spent more than $1,000 out-of-pock on dental care — 19 percent
• No natural teeth — 15 percent

Of the beneficiaries who did not visit in the dentist in the past year, 71 percent were black, 65 percent were Hispanic, 70 percent were low income and 59 percent lived in rural areas.

To read the full report, click here.

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