The federal government has introduced the Canada Dental Care Plan (CDCP), based on the existing Canada Dental Benefits, with the aim of providing access to dental healthcare services without depending on financial capabilities.
The new insurance program is expected to reach up to 9 million low-income Canadians of all ages by its full implementation in 2025, with a commitment of $13 billion over 5 years and an annual budget of $4.4 billion thereafter.
Eligibility criteria include Canadian residents without dental insurance, a family adjusted net income below $90,000, and having filed tax returns for the previous year.
Seniors will be the first group to enroll in the program, with registration opening in stages starting December 2023, followed by Canadians with valid Disability Tax Credit certification and children under 18 in June 2024. All remaining eligible Canadians are expected to join in 2025.
The registration process involves eligible individuals receiving registration invitations by mail, and applicants can verify eligibility and apply by phone or through an online portal provided by Service Canada.
A range of dental healthcare services will be covered under CDCP, including diagnostic and filling services, denture fabrication, and root canal treatment.
Dental service providers are expected to invoice directly to the federal government operated by Sun Life, and CDCP will reimburse a percentage of the qualified fees, along with co-payments based on the applicant’s income.
Coverage will commence upon determination of eligibility, and seniors may engage with dental service providers as early as May 2024. Sun Life will handle the registration process and communicate insurance details and start dates.
Appointments for eligible dental services must be scheduled on or after the start date provided in the welcome package from Sun Life, and CDCP will not reimburse for services performed before the start date.
Dentists and dental hygienists are required to opt into the federal program, and individuals should confirm their provider’s registration in the program when scheduling appointments.