There is an enormous gap in dental coverage in the United States. Following are the alarming statistics along with some web sites, programs, and organizations from which to learn more about the options:
*36 percent of higher-income adults don't have dental coverage—The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured’s survey on low-income coverage and access from July 2008
*Five times as many children will likely have tooth decay than asthma (which is covered by health insurance)
*At least 26 million children lack dental coverage
*More than 80 million adults have no dental insurance
*Oral cancer kills more adults in the United States than cervical cancer—Washington Post, June 23, 2009
*18 percent of Americans 65 and older have had all of their teeth extracted
(View state-by-state facts at:http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=110&cat=2)
American Dental Association
At its national conference in August, the Association discussed how health reform will affect the members’ practices. On Nov. 18, it will host another national conference, entitled, “Oral Health of Vulnerable Older Adults and Persons With Disabilities” in Washington, D.C.
Children's Dental Health Project-Health Care Reform Center
This project works to ensure all children have access to dental care.
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
This program was originally enacted in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. Reauthorization was twice vetoed by former President George W. Bush but was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. It helps provide dental coverage for uninsured children.
Current Medicare Dental Coverage
As of now, Medicare only covers dental services that are absolutely necessary for a covered procedure or for extractions done to prepare for radiation.
Kaiser Family Foundation
KFF constantly publishes surveys, studies, and statistics about everything you need to know about health care, including dental statistics.
www.kff.org and http://www.kff.org/medicaid/7681.cfm
B'nai B'rith Magazine Blog
An archive of digital exclusive content that supplements the B'nai B'rith Magazine.
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