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KFF: Two-thirds of Medicare recipients lack dental coverage

March 14, 2019 / Jacqueline Renfrow

Lack of routine dental care can result in complications and high-cost emergency department visits. Yet almost two-thirds of Medicare recipients, 37 million people, don’t have dental coverage, according to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).  As a result of not having coverage, 49% of those surveyed said they had not been to the dentist in the past year. And for those that did see a dentist, 19% spent more than $1,000 out of pocket.  Specifically by demographic, 71% of black Medicare recipients, 65% of Hispanic Medicare recipients, 70% of low-income enrollees and 59% of those living in rural areas did not have a dental visit over the past year. "We were surprised that 49% of all people on Medicare did not see a dentist in the past year, even knowing that nearly two-thirds of all people on Medicare have no dental coverage, but we were stunned how high the numbers were for black and Hispanic beneficiaries, and what that means for their oral health...