On the Radar from CLEO
CLEO On The Radar
February 2024
Dental coverage coming for some Canadians
The federal government has a new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), which will help some Canadians pay for certain dental costs.
There are rules about who's eligible, what's covered, and when coverage starts.
Who can apply
To qualify for the CDCP, a person must:
  • not have other dental insurance, for example, from a pension, group, employer, or personal plan,
  • have a family net income of less than $90,000,
  • be a Canadian resident for tax purposes, and
  • have filed a tax return in the past year.
If the person who's applying has a spouse or common-law partner, they must also qualify.
If a person has dental coverage through a provincial social program, such as Healthy Smiles Ontario, Ontario Disability Support Program, or the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan, they can still qualify. The 2 plans will be coordinated. This means that people are not covered for the same service through both plans. The government will have more details on this by May.
A person must qualify for the CDCP each year. The government will say how a person can apply again later.
When to apply
When a person can start applying for the CDCP is based on their age and whether they have a Disability Tax Credit certificate:
Group When they can start applying
87 years or older December 2023
77 to 86 years January 2024
72 to 76 years February 2024
70 to 71 years March 2024
65 to 69 years May 2024
Adults 64 years and younger who also have a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate June 2024
Children younger than 18 years June 2024
All other Canadians who qualify 2025
Children 12 and under may be covered under the Canada Dental Benefit until they're eligible for the CDCP in June 2024. Read more in Is my child eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit?
How to apply
People who are eligible for the CDCP and are 70 years and older will get a letter that tells them how to apply by phone with Service Canada.
People who can apply for the CDCP in May 2024 and after, can apply online. They will not get a letter. The government will share more details on applying online at a later date.
If someone believes they're eligible but does not get a letter:
  • they may have not filed their tax return in 2022, or
  • the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may have the wrong address for them.
There are free tax clinics that can help people file their taxes. And people can contact the CRA or use their MyAccount to update their address.
Service Canada will ask:
  • for 2 pieces of ID, and
  • if the person has dental coverage.
Service Canada lets the person know if their application was accepted. And Sun Life Insurance, the company managing the plan, sends them a member card and a letter that explains how to use the CDCP and when their coverage starts.
What's covered
The CDCP only covers dental services that are:
  • included in the plan, and
  • provided by dental professionals who are part of the plan.
Dental professionals can be dentists, denturists, dental hygienists, and dental specialists. The government calls these dental professionals "oral health providers".
The government has not given a full list of dental services that are covered, but some examples are:
  • cleaning, polishing, sealants, and fluoride treatments
  • x-rays
  • fillings
  • root canal treatments
  • complete and partial removable dentures
  • removing teeth
How much is covered
The CDCP covers a maximum amount for each included service. But the government has not yet said what those amounts will be.
If a dental professional charges more than the maximum, the person must pay the difference on the day of their appointment. They must also pay for any service that is not covered by the CDCP.
Before making an appointment with their dental professional, a person should ask:
  • if they're part of the CDCP
  • how much the service costs
The CDCP covers a different percentage of eligible costs based on the person's family net income:
If the family net income is: The CDCP will cover:
Less than $70,000 100%
Between $70,000 and $79,999 60%
Between $80,000 and $89,999 40%
A person does not have to pay for the portion of dental services that are covered by the CDCP. Their dental professional sends that part of the claim directly to Sun Life Insurance.
When coverage starts
When a person's coverage starts depends on:
  • their age,
  • when they applied, and
  • when their application was accepted
People should check their Sun Life package to see when their coverage starts.
Coverage for eligible people 87 years and older is expected to start in May 2024.
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Related Resources
Free tax clinics
Canada Revenue Agency
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