After months of speculation, the Canadian Federal Government has announced the launch of the Canadian Dental Care Program (CDCP).
Starting in mid-December 2023, letters will be mailed to seniors who may qualify for the Canadian Dental Care Program (CDCP) as follows:
|Seniors aged 87 and above
|Starting December 2023
|Seniors aged 77 to 86
|Starting January 2024
|Seniors aged 72 to 76
|Starting February 2024
|Seniors aged 70 to 71
|Starting March 2024
|Seniors aged 65 to 69
|Starting May 2024
These letters will include a personalized application code and instructions on how to apply. Until the end of April 2024, seniors who receive invitation letters may phone Service Canada to apply via an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system (not a real person). Starting in May 2024 applications will be available online.
It is important to note that online and automated phone enrollment may create challenges for seniors who are not comfortable with these methods. However, with the Retirees Dental Plan, you have the option to enroll using an online form, a paper form, or by speaking to a real person over the phone.
Participation in the CDCP by your dental provider is entirely voluntary. Oral health providers who will offer the CDCP in their offices are encouraged to follow the CDCP established fees, which are not the same as the provincial and territorial fee guides.
Since the CDCP fee guide has not yet been established, many dentists may hesitate to offer this program in their offices. Official sources suggest that the CDCP fee guide may be lower than the standard provincial fee guide that most dentists in Canada usually follow. If your dentist decides not to offer the CDCP in their office, would you be willing to switch to a dentist who offers it? The Retirees Dental Plan collaborates with any dental care professional of your choice.
So far, the wording around what will be covered is general in nature. Services that could be covered under the CDCP include the following:
- preventive services, including scaling (cleaning), polishing, sealants, and fluoride;
- diagnostic services, including examinations and x-rays;
- restorative services, including fillings;
- endodontic services, including root canal treatments;
- prosthodontic services, including complete and partial removable dentures;
- periodontal services, including deep scaling;
- oral surgery services, including extractions.
Note: some services will only become available in the fall of 2024.
With the CDCP, coverage for major work such as crowns and bridges is not mentioned, and there are no indications of how often you can access these services. The Retirees Dental Plan allows you to see your dentist every nine months, and your hygienist for scaling as often as you need. With clear and simple guidelines, our contract makes it easy to understand how often you can access Basic, Comprehensive, and Major services. The Retirees Dental plan also has no waiting period, annual deductible, or annual financial limits. Will that be the same for the CDCP?
Finally, Canadians who are enrolled in the CDCP will not be able to start seeing an oral health provider until early May 2024.
If you have questions about your current dental coverage, please feel free to reach out to the Retirees Dental Plan. We are always happy to speak with you about your dental care needs.
You can read the official announcements with the following links:
Link to Health Canada announcement: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2023/12/the-canadian-dental-care-plan.html
Link to Government of Canada Benefits webpage: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan.html