After Congress Fails to Add Dental Coverage, Medicare Weighs Limited Benefit Expansion

Proposed changes in Medicare rules could soon pave the way for a significant expansion in Medicare-covered dental services, while falling short of the comprehensive benefits that many Democratic lawmakers have advocated.

That’s because, under current law, Medicare can pay for limited dental care only if it is medically necessary to safely treat another covered medical condition. In July, officials proposed adding conditions that qualify and sought public comment. Any changes could be announced in November and take effect as soon as January.

The review by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services follows an unsuccessful effort by congressional Democrats to

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