Data: KFF; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios
Two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries don't have dental coverage, and half haven't been to the dentist in the past year.
The big picture: Democrats are pushing to have the program cover dental, hearing and vision benefits the same way it does other medical care.
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Between the lines: Lower-income beneficiaries, those in poor or fair health, and beneficiaries of color are most likely to report going without a dental visit over the last year, per KFF.
Some seniors have access to dental coverage through Medicare Advantage, Medicaid or private plans. But coverage is often capped, leading to high out-of-pocket costs even among the insured.
What they're saying: “There is a lot of evidence that people go without needed dental care because they can’t afford it," said KFF's Tricia Neuman.
"This would be the significant improvement to Medicare since the drug benefit took effect in 2006.”
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