Senate Democrats recently announced a $3.5 trillion outline to implement President Biden’s “human infrastructure” plan. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized that in addition to funding the programs the President has requested, the Senate will include funding for the addition of dental, vision and hearing benefits to the Medicare program.

The Senate announcement kicks off the budget process; there is currently no bill text or details on scope of benefits or other aspects of the plan. However, the expectation is that the conversation will focus on adding dental to Medicare via Part B of the program. With the 50-50 margin in the Senate, the support of every Democrat is necessary to move forward with the next step: approval of a budget resolution instructing Committees to develop legislation in their purview.

Agreement on a topline number and passage of a budget resolution to start the reconciliation process could occur within the next month if there is consensus among Democrats. The final vote on the reconciliation package likely would not be until this fall/winter or early next year.

NADP is in dialogue with Senate staff and providing key questions and concerns for consideration. NADP comments are informed by several key principles when considering a dental benefit for Medicare and focus on questions regarding implications for Part B and Medicare Advantage enrollees, those with private coverage today, and employers who cover retirees and those over 65.

NADP also remains in contact with organizations which are active or have interest in this issue. Please share insight from any conversations you may be having on this topic with federal policymakers with the NADP GR team ( 

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