Canada is getting a new dental care plan that will cover millions without insurance

The federal government has announced its 2023-2024 fiscal year budget, including a brand-new dental care plan for Canada.

“We will begin rolling out a dental care plan that will eventually cover up to 9 million uninsured Canadians,” Chrystia Freeland said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“This will mean that no Canadian ever again will need to choose between taking care of their teeth and paying the bills at the end of the month. It will mean you can’t tell the size of someone’s paycheck by their smile.”

The move comes after the success of another dental plan introduced in December last year. However, that one only covered children.

So far, it has helped keep more than 240,000 kids healthy without impacting their guardians’ and parents’ finances.

The new Canadian Dental Care Plan will roll out by the end of this year and will span over five years.

The 2023 budget will deliver a “transformative investment” to provide dental care to Canadians with $13 billion over five years and $4.4 billion ongoing.

“These are significant and necessary investments because a strong and effective public health care system is essential for a strong and healthy Canadian workforce,” added Freeland. “We need a strong and healthy Canadian workforce now more than ever because as we wrestle inflation to the ground, Canada must also navigate fundamental shifts in the global economy.”

Eligibility requirements

According to a release from the federal government, the new dental plan would provide dental coverage for uninsured Canadians with an annual family income of less than $90,000, with no co-pays for those with family incomes under $70,000.

“Budget 2023 proposes to provide $250 million over three years, and $75 million ongoing, to establish an Oral Health Access Fund,” officials wrote.

“The fund will complement the Canadian Dental Care Plan by addressing oral health gaps among vulnerable populations and reducing barriers to accessing dental care, including in rural and remote communities.”

The government also announced a new grocery rebate to help 11 million Canadians put meals on the table.

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