Dental care is not included in Medicare benefits, so many beneficiaries, 65 and older, are left to pay out of pocket for services or pay for private dental insurance. A lack of dental coverage can lead to patients electing to opt-out of a needed dental procedure, later affecting their overall health and quality of life. Participants from Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery were analyzed through a random chart review of payment methods. Those that are not covered by Medicare Advantage were surveyed on their dental coverage and knowledge of it, as well as overall health. The results showed that the majority of participants paid for dental procedures out pocket and only a small percentage had a procedure covered by Medicare alone. Nine individuals were surveyed over the phone. The majority of people interviewed felt that dental insurance was not necessary or important. It was acknowledged by participants that dental procedures were very expensive and they had to cover the cost, since they did not have insurance or insurance only covered a small percentage.
Zefran, MPHc, Jamie and Diecidue, DMD, MD, MBA, MSPH, Robert, "Access Gaps in Dental Procedure Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries and Dental Coverage Perceptions in Philadelphia" (2018). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 240.