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Canada's dental plan eligibility expands to children, people with disabilities
Representative image/ courtesy: Unsplash/ Caroline LM

Canada's dental plan eligibility expands to children, people with disabilities

| @@indiablooms | 28 Jun 2024, 10:55 pm

Ottawa/IBNS: With Canada's reported plans to expand the federal dental program eligibility to include children under 18 and people who receive a disability tax credit.

The expansion of eligibility enables an estimated 1.2 million more Canadians to apply for the program.

Applicants without any dental plan insurance and having a household income under $90,000 per year qualify for this program.

The rollout of the program followed negotiations with the New Democrats as part of a political pact to prevent an early election.

Basing eligibility for people with disabilities on the tax credit, said critics will leave out a large number of most needy people

Full expansion of eligibility criteria to include everyone who meets income criteria in January 2025 enabling those who are left out won't have to wait much longer to access federal dental coverage, Federal ministers have said. 

In the meantime Alberta reportedly plans to opt out of the federal government’s dental care plan by 2026, Premier Danielle Smith has said adding that the program infringes on provincial jurisdiction.

Instead Smith wants to negotiate with the federal government to get Alberta’s share of the federal funding to facilitate the  province to expand dental care coverage as it sees fit.

“Alberta has long maintained that it would be more effective to expand existing provincial programs than to introduce a new federal plan,” Smith wrote in the letter, saying that about 500,000 Albertans already benefit from provincial coverage.

Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange’s office said in a statement the Canadian Dental Care Plan duplicates coverage provided by Alberta’s low-income dental programs.

“Alberta urged the federal government to work with the provinces to improve existing dental coverage, but they chose to proceed with this new program anyway,” said press secretary Andrea Smith.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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