When the Medicare Program was created in 1965, the major connection between oral health and overall wellness was not well understood, and the Program excluded coverage of medically necessary dental care.
While the connection between oral health and overall health is now proven, Medicare still doesn't provide coverage of medically necessary dental care.
“The estimate was $2,500!” Eustiquieano proclaims with a shocked expression. At 82 years old, almost all of Eustiqueano’s teeth are in need of treatment. Without the dental work he needs, it is difficult for him to chew. His wife is afraid that he’ll choke on his food because he cannot chew properly.
Eustiquieano worked hard his entire life in a factory to provide for his three children. He paid taxes and contributed to society. But now, Eustiquieano’s health is in danger. He earns too little to afford $2,500 of dental work.
Like most seniors, he relies on Medicare, but his Medicare HMO only covers one cleaning a year with a co-pay. If Medicare covered medically necessary dental care, his physical health would also be improved, and his wife could stop worrying about him at every meal.