The Benefits Of Including Dental Benefits In Medicare Advantage Programs

posted by Dominion National

on September 23, 2021


Health plans are continuously looking to enhance their Medicare Advantage programs to
grow new enrollment, improve retention and reduce cost of care. Often overlooked, the
inclusion of dental benefits in a Medicare Advantage program can have a positive impact in these areas. With the abundance of research supporting the link between oral health and overall health, dental benefits and enrollment are expected to grow in the Medicare market.

  • As of April 22, 2020, 36% of Medicare beneficiaries (approximately 18 million) are in a Medicare Advantage plan and this figure is projected to surpass 50% by 2030 according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This would represent 40% growth and would drive Medicare Advantage enrollment to 25 million.
  • Almost two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries (65%), or nearly 37 million people, did not have dental coverage in 2016 and that number decreased to 47%, or nearly 24 million people in 2019.
  • 70% of Medicare Advantage participants are enrolled in plans covering some type of comprehensive dental services.
  • Among those with dental insurance through Medicare Advantage, 72% said dental coverage was a factor in choosing their plan.

While the conversation to include comprehensive dental coverage in Medicare Part B will continue over the course of the coming years, promoting access to dental coverage in Medicare Advantage programs will continue to help bridge the gap in dental care access for the Medicare population while potentially improving a health plan’s bottom line. There are proposed Congressional bills that would mandate dental with Medicare Part B, which would add 38 million dental beneficiaries.

This paper represents the views of the author, not AHIP. The publication, distribution or posting of this paper by AHIP does not constitute a guaranty of any product or service by AHIP.