JULY 22, 2021 from the Center for Medicare Advocacy

On July 20, 2021, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and nine other organizations sent a letter to Congress and the Biden Administration, urging them to move forward with improvements to the Medicare program as part of creating a more equitable and affordable health care and prescription drug system. The Center was joined by Alliance for Retired Americans, Families USA, Justice in Aging, Medicare Rights Center, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, National Council on Aging and Social Security Works.

The groups recommended priorities for strengthening Medicare, including:

  • Add a Comprehensive Oral Health Benefit
  • Add Hearing Coverage
  • Expand Vision Coverage
  • Reduce Prescription Drug Prices and Out-of-Pocket Costs
  • Improve the Medicare Savings Programs’ (MSPs) Low-Income Protections
  • Add an Out-of-Pocket Cap to traditional Medicare
  • Strengthen the Home Health Benefit
  • Improve Chronic Care
  • Modernize and improve Medigap Enrollment

The joint letter is available here. In addition, last week, the Center issued an Action Alert urging individuals to contact their members of Congress to push for many of these goals. We encourage you to contact your legislators as momentum builds for Medicare improvements.

Oral Health / Dental Coverage

Among these suggested improvements is one of the Center’s long-standing goals – adding a comprehensive oral health benefit to the Medicare program. As legislators finally begin to understand what the public has known all along – that oral health is critical to overall health – the Center issued an Oral Health Action Alert this week asking individuals to contact and urge their federal lawmakers to include dental coverage in Medicare.

Both of these Action Alerts are still available for anyone who wishes to use them, and both can be found at https://medicareadvocacy.org/take-action/.

The Medicare program is made up of several “parts” that offer various benefits, including hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance for outpatient and physician services (Part B), and prescription drug coverage (Part D). To read more about your Medicare coverage choices, click here.

Details of coverage, eligibility, and plan changes can be confusing especially if you’re just turning 65 (or almost 65). Don’t worry – we’re here to answer your questions. Call us toll free at (866) 235-8378 or click here to email us your name and phone number for us to call you. Calls are not recorded and your information is confidential.

Ohio Health Benefits also offers Medicare & Muffins, a free educational seminar to help you understand how Medicare works. These seminars are free and open to the public every Wednesday at 9 am and Thursday at 3pm. For details and registration link click here.