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• President Joe Biden did not announce a Medicare stimulus for dental work, and video footage of him included in the post is from June 2020, before he was elected president.
• The traditional Medicare insurance program does not cover most dental care or procedures.
• Some private insurance companies sell certain Medicare plans that are allowed to offer coverage for dental work. The plans must be purchased and coverage varies.
Open enrollment is underway for certain private Medicare plans, and it has brought an onslaught of misinformation about what benefits are available from the traditional federal health insurance program for senior citizens and those with disabilities.
"Biden announces Medicare stimulus that provides free dental work to all Seniors who need it! Crowns and implants included," says a Jan. 6 post on Facebook. The post links to a website that says senior citizens can receive free dental work if they apply by Jan. 31.
The website also says, "Thanks to this new Medicare update, those aged 64+ are able to take advantage of no-cost dental work. This includes crowns, implants, x-rays, fillings, cleanings, and more!"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The claim is wrong. Biden did not announce a Medicare stimulus for dental work; footage in the post of him speaking is from before he was elected president. And free dental work is not available through traditional Medicare insurance.
Some private insurance companies sell certain Medicare plans, called Medicare Advantage, that are allowed to offer coverage for dental work. The plans must be purchased and coverage varies.
Video footage in the post shows Biden saying, in part, "So here’s the bottom line. My plan lowers healthcare costs, gets us universal coverage quickly, when Americans desperately need it, now." But the clip is from a June 25, 2020, campaign appearance, when Biden spoke about "the Affordable Care Act and his plan to make it available to every American," according to C-SPAN.
By law, Medicare cannot cover most dental care or dental procedures, according to a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That includes cleanings, fillings, tooth extractions, dentures and dental plates.
There are some limited exceptions, such as certain dental services provided in a hospital setting as part of another covered procedure, the spokesperson said. An example would be reconstruction of a jaw following an accidental injury.
Biden’s stalled Build Back Better social-spending bill originally included a proposal to add dental, hearing and vision coverage to the traditional Medicare program. But the dental portion of the proposal was scrapped during early negotiations.
Medicare Advantage plans from private insurance companies are allowed to offer coverage for things that aren't covered by original Medicare, including dental care. But unlike the post’s claim that dental work will be free to all seniors, the Medicare Advantage plans must be purchased, and coverage varies by plan.
The Facebook post, on a Facebook page called Latest Medicare, links to a website called LatestMedi.com, which is a single webpage with a question asking users whether they are older than 64. Whether users click yes or no, the link leads to the same place, a website called Medicareplan.com, which indicates it is owned and operated by Assurance IQ, an insurance company.
Media inquiries regarding Assurance IQ are directed to Prudential, which purchased the company in 2019. We contacted Prudential for comment but have not received a reply.
A Facebook post says, "Biden announces Medicare stimulus that provides free dental work to all Seniors who need it! Crowns and implants included."
Biden did not make such an announcement; footage in the post of him speaking is from before he was elected president.
Free dental work is not available through traditional Medicare insurance. By law, the federal insurance program cannot cover most dental care or dental procedures.
Some private insurance companies sell Medicare Advantage plans that are allowed to offer coverage for dental work. The plans must be purchased and coverage varies.
We rate this claim False.
CNBC, "Biden will host CEOs at the White House to promote his stalled Build Back Better bill," Jan. 25, 2022
C-SPAN, "Campaign 2020: Joe Biden Remarks on Health Care," June 25, 2020
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, email interview, spokesperson, Jan. 26, 2022
Facebook post, Jan. 6, 2022
LatestMedi.com, "Seniors: Get FREE Dental Work By Claiming This New Medicare Benefit Before January 31st," accessed Jan. 27, 2022
Medicareplan.com, accessed Jan. 27, 2022
Medicare.gov, "Glossary," accessed Jan. 27, 2022
Medicare.gov, "How do Medicare Advantage Plans work?," accessed Jan. 27, 2022
Medicare.gov, "Joining a health or drug plan," accessed Jan. 26, 2022
New York Times, "Democrats’ Bill Would Go Far Toward ‘Patching the Holes’ in Health Coverage," Dec. 1, 2021
PolitiFact, "Democrats’ plans to expand Medicare benefits put pinch on Advantage plans’ funding," Oct. 28, 2021
PolitiFact, "Medicare ‘flex cards’ are not as advertised," Jan. 12, 2022
Prudential, "Prudential Financial completes acquisition of Assurance IQ, Inc.," Oct. 10, 2019
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