medicare needs to keep up photo

The Story

This year, Congress’ August recess is a particularly critical time for advocacy. Members of Congress are in the midst of crafting legislation aimed to address the wide-spread impacts of the pandemic. When Members return to DC in September, they will quickly get to work on a final “reconciliation” package. It is up to us to ensure that adding dental coverage to Medicare remains a priority in the package, and that it creates bold and meaningful change for enrollees. During the whole month of August, Members of Congress will be home in their states/districts to hear from constituents, and it is time for us to weigh in!

During the August recess, Members of Congress are more likely to host town hall events, participate in constituent facing events, and engage on social media. We have created tools that advocates can use to engage Members to ensure they deliver on their promise to create a more affordable and accessible health care system, which includes Medicare dental.



  • Customize and send this email template to your Senators and Representative. Are you a dentist, dental hygienist, or clinician? Your voice matters! Use this provider email template to let your Congressional leaders know that you support a comprehensive dental benefit in Medicare Part B for ALL beneficiaries.

  • If you already know a staff person in your Member of Congress’ office, email that contact (e.g., someone you met with during a Hill Day). If you do not have an existing relationship, you can find the contact information for the Health Legislative Assistant or Correspondent using the Congressional Matrix. Here’s a User Guide to help you use the matrix.


  • Find a town hall event (virtual or in person if you are comfortable) using the Town Hall Project. You can also invite a Member of Congress to an event you or your organization is hosting; for example, a community meeting, board of health meeting, or event for older adults.
  • Most importantly, ask questions. Here is a suggested question that can help you elevate critical health care issues during the event:

    “Thousands of older adults and people with disabilities in [your state] pay into Medicare their whole working lives and yet it completely leaves out the mouth, the eyes, and the ears. It’s no surprise eight out of ten voters want to see this problem fixed, especially when not being able to afford care has such critical implications for their overall health, their job prospects, and can come with social stigma. What will you do when you get back to D.C. to ensure that Medicare enrollees can access dental care?”


  • Press releases often lead to Members of Congress being asked about their position on key issues by the media, and can elevate the profile of your organization too. Use this template to create a press release that shares local information/data and is relevant to the audience in your community.


  • Engage with your candidate on social media by posting directly to their Facebook or Twitter account.
  • Tweet to friends, family, and colleagues and ask them to spread the word through social media channels.
  • Find and tag your member of Congress on social media.


  • Share this toolkit with your network, especially organizations that focus on issues impacting Medicare enrollees like your local Area Agency on Aging or Ombudsman.
  • Click here for an email template you can customize to spread the word.


  • These factsheets created by Families USA make the case, by state, for why now is the time to add essential oral health coverage to Medicare.
  • The Center for Medicare Advocacy makes it quick and easy to contact your members of Congress.
  • Stories are critical to helping Congressional leaders to see the “faces” of those impacted by lack of a dental benefit in Medicare. Share your story here.

Sample Social Media Posts

  • #medicare #OralHealth coverage would mean that over 60M older adults & ppl with disabilities who rely on Medicare would not only be able to afford important #DentalCare, but would also see improvements in overall health & have lower #HealthCare costs.

  • The #COVID19 pandemic has shown us how important access to affordable #HealthCare is for the health of our nation’s families. Access to #DentalCare is no different. It’s time to ensure that families who rely on #Medicare can get the #OralHealth care they need.

  • #dentalcare is so expensive without insurance that it is the number one medical service that people in America skip due to the cost.
  • When asked why #Medicare doesn’t cover dental, voters say it’s because the “gov’t is dysfunctional” & “Congress doesn’t care about older Americans.” It’s time Congress proves them wrong.
  • A recent poll from YouGov shows that 9/10 voters believe #dentalcare is a necessary part of overall #healthcare and 55% hold their members of Congress responsible for the current lack of coverage.
  • Our health shouldn’t depend on our wealth, but that will only be possible when #OralHealth care is covered too. It’s time to add #DentalCoverage to #Medicare.
  • Older adults and people with disabilities in [your state] are counting Congress to add #DentalCoverage to #Medicare. Our health depends on it!