Thousands of Canadians are dealing with tooth decay or gum disease. In some cases, these preventable oral conditions can lead to more significant health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. Dental care can be costly, and a third of Canadians don’t have dental insurance. In fact, more than one in five Canadians say they’ve avoided seeing a dentist because of the cost.
As part of a supply and confidence agreement with the NDP, the federal government plans to deliver a national program that makes dental care more accessible for low-income families.
The first phase of the government’s plan involves the rollout of the Canada Dental Benefit (CDB). Uninsured families earning less than $90,000 will be eligible to receive up to $650 per child, per year, starting December 1, 2022.
The government says about 500,000 children would benefit from the plan. Families with eligible children can apply for the CDB through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). In order to qualify, they must show that their children don’t have access to private dental coverage, will have out of pocket dental care expenses, and have to provide documentation, such as receipts, to verify those expenses, if required.
The next phase of the CDB in 2023 will expand coverage to those under 18, seniors, and people living with disabilities. The CBD is part of a larger, long-term plan to establish a national dental care program. All eligible Canadians would be covered under the national plan by 2025.
The CDB has the potential to impact the way private dental care coverage is offered through group benefits.
If you’re looking to redesign your benefits offerings based on the future availability of the CDB, here are a few things to consider:
Employers rely on competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract and retain talent, so they should consider how this new dental plan could impact their current offerings and employees. We’re here to help. If you have questions about where to start or whether you should offer virtual care, contact us so we can work together to create solutions that work best for you and your organization.