Adding a Dental Benefit in Medicare

In 2014, Oral Health America (along with partnered stakeholders in aging, Medicare, and oral health) began its effort towards a systems change, one centering around a commitment to the oral and overall health of older adults. It became clear to us that the need for affordable and quality dental coverage in Medicare is imperative for a healthier future.

Our work is ongoing, but we invite you to join us we celebrate the milestones we've achieved on our path to adding a dental benefit in Medicare.

Want to Join the Effort?

Build a case for a dental benefit in Medicare with resources from our Medicare Dental Toolkit →

2017: Taking a Deeper Dive

In 2017, we focused on taking the brainstorming efforts of our three Working Groups into actionable, on-the-ground activities.

Nov 2017 - Politics Working Group

Along with Families USA, OHA convenes a group of stakeholders to identify the necessary strategies for advancing an oral health benefit in Medicare on the political agenda.

3rd Annual Medicare Symposium

In partnership with the DentaQuest Foundation and the American Dental Association (ADA), OHA hosts the 3rd Annual Medicare Symposium to share work accomplished over the past year.

July 2017 - Medicare Dental Toolkit

To assist others with advocacy efforts on-the-ground and ensure a strong, unified message, OHA launches its Medicare Dental Toolkit at the Symposium.

July 2017 - OHA/HPI Medicare Study

Oral Health America and the ADA Health Policy Institute Release New Infographic Surrounding Dental Coverage in Medicare OHA partners with the ADA’s Health Policy Institute to conduct focus group research on consumers’ views and attitudes on a dental benefit in Medicare.

May 2017 - Grassroots Pilot Test

After months of market research, OHA & PR group Marketing for Change launch pilot test of grassroots campaign in Orlando, Florida to encourage individuals to take action in-person and online at

2016 - Building the Framework

Medicare Symposium participants develop an initial framework (PDF 1MB) for moving forward in 3 key focus areas: Policy & Procedure, Marketing & Communications, Politics.

September 2016 - 1st Legislative Luncheon

As a part of its annual Advocacy Week, OHA hosts a Legislative Luncheon on Capitol Hill to educate legislators and their staff on the connection between good oral health and overall health.

July 2016 - 2nd Medicare Symposium

Read the summary (PDF 58 kB)

June 2016 - Marketing/Comm Group

In partnership with PR group Marketing for Change, OHA conducts an environmental scan & market research to build messaging for a grassroots campaign.

March 2016 - Policy & Procedure Group

In partnership with the Santa Fe Group and Dr. Judy Jones of Detroit Mercy, a group of stakeholders propose a structure for a dental benefit in Medicare Part B.

2015 - Laying the Groundwork

OHA and partners begin to develop a viable path toward the inclusion of a dental benefit in Medicare.

September 2015 - Public Opinion Poll

OHA conducts a public opinion poll (PDF 265 kB) in partnership with Nielsen Survey to compare oral health knowledge, utilization and barriers for adults aged 50-65 and over 65.

July 2015 - First Annual Medicare Symposium

OHA hosts the First Annual Medicare Symposium (PDF 249 kB) with stakeholders in oral health, aging, and Medicare to chart the course forward for adding a dental benefit to Medicare.

January 2015 - WHCOA Letter

OHA continues to circulate its sign-on letter (PDF 656 kB) to include oral health as a key health indicator for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA).

2014 - Planning for 2020

In September, OHA takes its first steps on its Medicare journey by partnering with the DentaQuest Foundation to fulfill one of the OralHealth2020 Goals: a comprehensive dental benefit in Medicare.

Systems change is only possible through the contributions and commitments of multiple partners. OHA seeks to expand the network of stakeholders by engaging new partners—like you!

For more information on joining our effort, contact Public Affairs at [email protected].