One of the biggest topics in the news lately could become official as soon as this year, which is universal dental coverage for children under 12. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said, “It is a matter of dignity, this will make a massive difference for health and for people’s quality of life.”
To learn how the program will work, and the impact it could have on the overall and oral health of 6.5 million Canadians that don’t have dental coverage continue reading:
How will the Liberal-NDP Dental Care Plan be rolled-out?
Under the program families with annual incomes, less than $90,000 that don’t have dental insurance can get coverage with no copays or if you personally make less than $70,000 annually.
The system would work in a similar fashion to private insurance plans which would have a huge benefit for low-middle income families. The full program details are not fully clear at this time.
What are the projected costs of the Liberal-NDP Dental Care Plan?
The estimated cost of this program was $1.3 billion over the rest of 2022 and 4.3 billion over the plan’s first year of operation with it costing 1.5 billion each year after that until 2025.
This higher first-year cost is due to the massive anticipation of the program for the 6.5 million potential Canadians with unmet dental care needs. The program’s phased structure could change this a lot.
Economist Armine Yalniizyan said, “While it will cost a little more on the front end, it will save money on the back end and make life more affordable.”
When will the Liberal-NDP Dental Care program start?
The plan is to introduce this in three phases starting later on this year with children under the age of 12 becoming eligible for this program. In 2023 the program will be extended to up to 18-year-old teenagers, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Eventually, by 2025 all Canadians will be eligible for this program.
“This will make a huge difference in the life of Canadian seniors who often turn to hospital emergency rooms when dental issues arise” according to Laura Watts, CEO of CanAge, a senior advocacy group. She went on to say that “We know that ERs are overwhelmingly the country’s dentists of seniors and that should not be the case.”
What does this Liberal-NDP Dental Care program mean for 6.5 million Canadians?
This will hopefully open up the dental industry to those that have not been able to have great oral health due to the financial barrier. This plan is a very promising acknowledgment of the Federal government for accessing the importance of good oral health for overall health.
Hopefully, the implementation of this universal dental care will lower emergency room visits, and the diseases that are connected to poor oral health like; gingivitis, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and even tooth decay/loss.
Could this Liberal-NDP Dental Care program cause dental offices to become crowded?
We still have many more questions related to how the federal plan will work and connect with the provincial plans in place and the rest of the private insurance sector.
However, Bruce Ward of the British Columbia Dental Association does anticipate a spike in the interest in going to the dentist. The impact of this on the dental industry, in general, is not known at this time but it can be expected to have a huge impact on Canadians’ oral health.