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Canada’s dental coverage is now in effect. Who qualifies?

The initial phase of Canada’s Dental Care Plan has been officially rolled out nationwide as of Wednesday. While 1.9 million seniors are now eligible for the plan, other Canadians will have to wait a bit longer.

Beginning May 1, seniors aged 70 and above can access the coverage, with those aged 65 and older who meet the criteria also eligible to apply for the dental plan.

“This marks a significant milestone for the Canadian dental care program, aiming to enhance accessibility and affordability of dental care for Canadians,” stated Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos during a media conference on Wednesday. “These seniors will now have better access to essential treatments for long-overlooked dental needs, including dentures, cleanings, examinations, and fillings.”

The CDCP plan emerged from the Liberals’ supply-and-confidence deal with the NDP in 2022, providing dental care benefits directly to uninsured Canadian residents with a household income below $90,000. However, its implementation is being phased.

As of Wednesday, over 1,200 seniors have already utilized the plan, with their claims processed by the federal government. Citizens’ Services Minister Terry Beech revealed at the media conference that the first one million registered seniors received their benefits card on May 1, with the first patient seen at 7:08 a.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Who Qualifies?

To access the dental care program, applicants must:

  • Be Canadian residents.
  • Lack access to any dental insurance.
  • Have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000.
  • Have filed their 2023 tax return.

Applications are currently open for eligible seniors aged 65 and above. From June onwards, children under 18 and individuals with a valid disability tax credit certificate can apply. All other eligible Canadian residents aged 18 to 64 can apply online from 2025 onwards.

Where to Apply

Eligible residents can apply online, over the phone, or in person at Service Canada. Required information includes the social insurance number, date of birth, full name, home and mailing address, and details of any existing dental coverage through government social programs.

Participating Dentists

Over 6,500 oral health providers have enrolled to participate in the program. Eligible individuals can use Sun Life’s CDCP Provider Search tool to find a dental professional in their community. Claims will only be processed from a participating provider before July 8, and individuals paying out-of-pocket will not be reimbursed.

The government estimates that up to nine million people will benefit from the program, making it the largest benefit program in Canada’s history.

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