Langford senior can’t find dentist who will sign on to plan

The BC Dental Association discourages its members from registering as providers with the Canadian Dental Care Plan.

Langford senior Mary Fair has been eagerly awaiting the federal government's free dental program starting next month, hoping she could make an appointment with a dentist to take advantage of the program.

But last month, the 71-year-old called her dentist's office and learned they hadn't registered as a provider. She called four more dentists and got the same answer.

“I've actually put off major dental work due to financial reasons, so for me, I'm very eagerly waiting for this to take effect,” Fair said. “I would say I've been waiting almost a year for this care plan to be implemented.”

Fair, who is single and lives in a mobile home, said she receives about $25,000 a year from the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security, which puts her in the low-income category and makes her eligible for the new Canada Dental Care Plan.

Once fully implemented, the $13 billion program is expected to serve more than 9 million low- and moderate-income Canadians without other private dental insurance.

The federal government has sent letters to eligible people inviting them to apply, and about 1.7 million Canadians have signed up so far.

However, the British Columbia Dental Association discourages its members from enrolling as providers in the plan.

Three-quarters of B.C.'s more than 4,000 dentists told the association in preliminary surveys they would not participate.

Dr. Rob Wolanski, president of the BC Dental Association, said the federal government's purported free dental care program may give patients “unrealistic expectations” that all procedures will be covered for all patients.

Depending on the procedure, the patient's income or the fees set by the dental office, the total cost may only be subsidized, he said.

“They create this expectation in the public, who is going to bear the brunt of that outrage when they walk into the office and find out it's not free?” he said.

The federal government says the paperwork will be no more onerous than other insurance companies, but Wolansky rejects that assertion.

“This is not like any other dental program — more accurately, it is a subsidy program,” he said, noting that there are federal cost-containment strategies built into the program. Orthodontics, for example, is not covered, he said.

In an effort to attract more people to participate, the federal government announced last week that from July 8, oral health providers will be able to bill Sun Life directly for services provided on an itemized claim basis, without being formally registered as a provider on the scheme.

“This will make it easier for healthcare providers to treat patients and submit [Canadian Dental Care Plan] “Regardless of whether they choose to formally participate, they can claim direct reimbursement from Sun Life,” said Christopher Aoun, press secretary to the federal health minister.

Reimbursements through the program are expected to reach providers within two business days, he said.

“This also means that CDCP clients can see any oral health provider of their choice as long as that provider agrees to pay Sun Life directly for services provided under the program,” Aoun said.

Wolansky agrees that the newly announced changes will allow patients to receive services “once,” without the provider signing up for the plan, but he worries that by even submitting a form, “you are tacitly agreeing to the terms and conditions,” which would be detrimental to our was a problem as we found many issues with the terms and conditions.

Wolansky said the plan was supposed to take about five years to develop but was rushed into implementation for political reasons, leaving the industry in “difficulty.”

“It's like we're test pilots and we don't know how the plane is going to fly until we actually fly it,” Wolansky said. He added that dentists also worry that the government might change the terms once they sign off on the program. and conditions.

Fair said that while she qualifies for full coverage, she wouldn't object to paying a little more if her dentist wasn't satisfied with the cost under the Canadian Dental Care Plan guidelines or if a service wasn't fully covered. Anything helps, she said.

The program will begin covering most preventive, diagnostic and restorative services next month, and other services that require prior authorization, such as dental crowns, will be available starting in November.

要符合資格,您必須是加拿大公民,調整後家庭年淨收入低於90,000 美元,並且沒有其他牙科保險(例如透過雇主、家庭成員的計劃或專業或學生組織提供的保險),但政府社會保險除外program. You must also file your income tax return for the previous year.

Registration for seniors aged 70 and above is now open, and eligible seniors aged 65 and above can register starting in May. Those accepted receive a card to take to their dentist, or they can find one of the more than 5,000 oral health providers (including dentists, denturists, hygienists and specialists) already participating in the program on the registry. one.

In June, people with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and children under 18 will be able to apply for the program online. Starting in 2025, all other eligible Canadian residents between the ages of 18 and 64 can apply.

“The support and engagement of oral health providers across the country is critical to the success of the Canadian Dental Care Plan,” federal Health Minister Mark Holland said in a statement last week.

Wolansky said he has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in free dental services to low-income individuals during his 36-year career, noting that the Canadian Dental Association has been calling for decades for some kind of program to help those who cannot afford it. Dental care costs for people.

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For more information about the Canadian Dental Care Plan, visit the Sun Life website or

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