NY Times (June 9, 2021): On Medicare and Need Dental Work? Beware a Big Bill

Mark Miller, in his New York Times article, discusses a possible Biden Administration expansion of Medicare through increased dental, visual, and hearing care. His article, “On Medicare and Need Dental Work? Beware a Big Bill,” begins as follows:

Ellen Phillips hasn’t eaten much solid food over the past year and a half. She has lost all of her upper teeth — badly infected, they had to be extracted in 2019. Her tongue is constantly swollen.

“I do well with Cheerios, applesauce and chocolate pudding, but I literally choke if I try to eat solid food, and that’s not how I should be eating,” said Ms. Phillips, 76, who is diabetic.

The extractions were a necessary prelude to needed heart surgery — dental infection or gum disease can allow bacteria to get into the bloodstream, causing surgical complications. The solution Ms. Phillips needs now includes extraction of her lower teeth and a set of implants that she said would cost at least $32,000.

But Ms. Phillips, of West Hartford, Conn., is enrolled in traditional Medicare — which pays for dentistry only in very limited circumstances. Her extractions were not covered, and she doesn’t expect Medicare will pay for her implants. Many Medicare Advantage plans, the managed-care alternative to traditional Medicare offered by private insurance companies, do include a limited amount of dental coverage. But none would come close to covering her needs.

To see the full article, click: “On Medicare and Need Dental Work? Beware a Big Bill”

Posted by Anthony Tran, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal

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