Seniors: Are you eligible for the new Canadian Dental Care Plan?

(NC) In December 2023, the Government of Canada began rolling out the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) to help make oral healthcare accessible to residents without dental insurance.

The plan, which will benefit up to 9 million Canadians once fully implemented, will help ensure more people can afford to take care of their oral health. Are you one of them?

Who is eligible?
To qualify for the plan, you must meet the following criteria:

  • be a Canadian resident with no access to dental insurance;
  • have an annual family income under $90,000; and
  • have filed your tax return for the previous year.

When can you apply?
The application process is opening in phases, starting with seniors.

  • Applications opened in December 2023 for seniors aged 87 and older.
  • Applications for 77 to 86-year-olds opened in January 2024.
  • Applications for 72 to 76-year-olds opened in February 2024.
  • Beginning in March those aged 70 to 71 can apply.
  • Seniors aged 65 to 69 can apply for the plan in May.

Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate, and children under the age of 18 will be able to start applying online as of June.

All other eligible residents will be able to apply in 2025.

How can you apply?
By the end of March 2024, seniors aged 70 and older who may qualify for the plan will receive a letter from the federal government inviting them to apply. The invitation will include instructions on how to confirm their eligibility and apply by telephone. If you think you are eligible and haven’t received a letter, or you have lost your letter, you can contact Service Canada in person or online, or by phone at 1-833-537-4342.

In May 2024, applications will shift to an online portal and will open for eligible seniors 65 and older. More information on that portal will be available closer to its launch date.

What’s covered under the program?
The CDCP will help cover the cost of most basic oral health care services, including check-ups, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canal treatments and dentures.

Members will be reimbursed a percentage of the cost at the plan’s established fees. These depend on the members’ income level, and some people may have to pay the rest of the expense amount out of pocket. For example:

  • if you have a family income under $70,000, you can have 100 per cent of eligible costs covered;
  • if your family income is between $70,000 and $79,999, 60 per cent of eligible costs can be covered; and
  • with a family income between $80,000 and $89,999, 40 per cent of eligible costs can be covered.

Oral health providers may charge a higher price than the established plan fees. In these instances, the patient will be required to pay the balance between these two amounts.

When will coverage start?
Once enrolled in the plan, seniors who are covered will be able to start seeing an oral health provider as early as May. Coverage start dates will vary based on when you can apply, when the application is received and when enrolment is completed.

To find out if you are eligible and when you can apply, visit

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