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What Is the New Canadian Dental Care Plan? 2024

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The new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) came into effect in December 2023 and will be gradually opened for applications throughout 2024 and into the start of 2025. The CDCP offers some dental coverage for specific eligible people but may not fully cover the cost of your dental services.

It’s important to fully understand the coverage that the CDCP offers for services like dental exams and cleanings and restorative dental services, such as fillings. In some cases, services may not be fully covered under the CDCP, and you may still have to pay your dental care provider directly. 

We recommend that you speak with your dentist before applying for the CDCP or seeking dental services with CDCP coverage. We can help you fully understand the coverage you may have access to and explore your options for getting access to critical dental care. 

Do You Still Have to Pay with CDCP Coverage?

In some situations, you may still have to pay for part of the cost of your dental care or for the full cost of services not covered by the CDCP. The coverage available through the CDCP is limited to specific services, and the full coverage available for your care may change. 

The CDCP will reimburse a percentage of eligible expenses at the rates established by the CDCP. You may be required to pay a co-payment to cover a portion of fees not covered by the CDCP depending on the services you receive, the fees you are charged, and your household income. In addition to a co-pay, dentists will be asking for the balance of the fee up to the current provincial fee guide.

What Is the Income Limit for Canadian Dental Care Plan Benefits?

The income limit for coverage through the CDCP is $90,000. However, even when your income is below $90,000, you may still be required to pay for part of the cost of your services. 

There are 3 coverage categories under the CDCP that vary based on your adjusted annual family net income. They only apply to services covered by the CDCP at the fee rates established by the CDCP and are as follows:

  • At under $70,000, you may be eligible for coverage without a co-payment.
  • Between $70,000 and $79,999, you may be required to pay a co-payment of 40%. 
  • Between $80,000 and $89,999, you may be required to pay a co-payment of 60%.

What Services Are Covered Under the Canadian Dental Care Plan?

The services available for coverage through the CDCP may include:

  • Preventive services, such as scaling (cleaning), polishing, sealants, and fluoride
  • Diagnostic services, such as dental exams and X-rays
  • Restorative services, such as fillings
  • Root canal treatments
  • Complete and partial removable dentures
  • Deep scaling
  • Tooth extractions

As Health Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to coordinate the CDCP, the coverage available may be adjusted based on data and evidence collected over time. 

Who Qualifies for the Canadian Dental Care Plan?

In order to qualify for the CDCP, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have no access to other forms of dental insurance.
  • Your adjusted annual family net income must be lower than $90,000.
  • You must be a Canadian resident for tax purposes.
  • You must have filed a tax return in the previous year. 

You may not qualify for the CDCP if you have access to insurance coverage for dental services through any of the following sources:

  • Your employer
  • A family member’s employer benefits
  • Your pension or a previous employer’s benefits
  • A family member’s pension benefits or their previous employer’s benefits
  • Health and wellness accounts provided by employer benefits
  • Insurance purchased by yourself or a family member from an insurance or benefits company

If you have access to dental benefits through another social program offered by your province or territory or the federal government, you may still qualify for CDCP coverage if you meet all the other criteria above. 

Will Seniors Get Free Dental Care with the CDCP?

Not all seniors will be immediately eligible for the CDCP, and some seniors may still have to pay part of the fees for their dental care even when they have CDCP coverage. 

There is a gradual schedule of availability for adults of different ages. Applications opened for adults 87 and older in December 2023. Throughout 2024, applications will continue to open up for progressively younger age ranges on a month-to-month basis. 

After applications have been opened for seniors 65–69, the CDCP will be opened to people with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, then children under 18, and lastly any other eligible Canadian residents. 

Let’s Talk About Your Oral Care Needs

The goal of the CDCP is to help ease financial barriers to oral health care for specific Canadians in potentially vulnerable groups, and it is provided with the advocacy of the Canadian Dental Association

The CDCP is not meant to replace your existing dental benefits, and it’s important to be aware that your coverage through the CDCP may vary based on several factors. Before you apply for this program or seek dental services with CDCP coverage, we encourage you to speak with your dentist. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Contact us to learn more about the CDCP and your options for accessing critical oral health care. 

Written by Fairlawn Dental

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