The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is a highly anticipated program announced in the 2023 Budget as part of the federal government's initiative to make healthcare more affordable for Canadians. The government plans to invest $13 billion over a five-year span, with $4.4 billion ongoing towards the CDCP's implementation.
Many Canadians are often forced to overlook oral healthcare due to its high costs. According to Health Canada, a third of people living in Canada do not have dental insurance, and one-fourth actively avoid visits to oral health professionals due to the cost. This situation makes economically weaker sections of society susceptible to poor oral health and associated risks, including respiratory diseases, diabetic complications, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, pregnancy complications, infections, alongside mental health issues, and an overall reduction in the quality of life.
The target demographic for the CDCP are the nine million uninsured Canadian residents with an annual family income below $90,000.
To be eligible for the Canadian Dental Care Plan, an individual must:
The CDCP will be rolled out in a phased manner, according to the applicant's age. Letters have been mailed to eligible individuals starting mid-December 2023 for seniors aged 87 and above and January 2024 for eligible individuals aged 77-86, with more to follow in the coming months. These letters include personalized application codes and instructions on how to apply.
The complete application schedule, according to the CDCP portal, is as follows:
Application letters are addressed to the location given in the 2022 tax return and for individuals with an adjusted family income of less than $90,000. You will not receive a letter if you fail to file your 2022 taxes or if you do not fall within the stipulated family income limit.
Canada's healthcare system operates under a publicly funded model called Medicare, guided by the principles of universality, accessibility, comprehensiveness, and portability. It is administered provincially and territorially, and all citizens and permanent residents have access to essential medical services without direct charges at the point of care. The most recent Canadian Dental Care Plan will help the Canadian healthcare system further enhance healthcare coverage for all sections of Canadian society.
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