Ontario Connecting More Seniors to Dental Care and Prescription Drugs

Increased income qualifications will expand access to care for low-income seniors

The Ontario government is ensuring the province's most vulnerable seniors continue to have access to dental care and affordable prescription drugs by increasing coverage under the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan and the Seniors Co-pay Plan.

On August 1, 2024, the annual income eligibility threshold for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Plan and Seniors Co-pay Plan will increase from $22,200 to $25,000 for single Ontarians aged 65 and over and $25,000 for couples. Will increase from CAD 37,100 to CAD 41,500.

“Our government is continuing to take action to ensure Ontarians have access to the health care and services they need at every stage of life,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

“By breaking down barriers to accessing these programs, we are making it faster and easier for low-income seniors to get the care they need, when they need it.”

The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program provides free routine dental care to nearly 150,000 low-income seniors each year. Eligible seniors are encouraged to apply by downloading and printing the application form online or picking up the application form at their local public health department. Seniors who qualify under the new income threshold can apply starting July 1, 2024.

The Senior Copay Program helps lower-income seniors who need prescription drugs reduce costs by reducing copayments to $2 or less and eliminating annual deductibles. Eligible seniors who turn 65 on or after July 1, 2024 can apply starting today so they can benefit as soon as possible.

Seniors can fill out an application online or call the Senior Copay Program toll-free at 1-888-405-0405 or 416-503-4586 to request a paper application be mailed to them. Seniors who are currently participating in the Senior Co-payment Plan do not need to reapply.

The increase in annual income eligibility will also help ensure that seniors currently enrolled in these programs and receiving additional financial support from the government will continue to be eligible and benefit from these health services.

“The health and well-being of Ontario’s seniors is a top priority for our government,” said Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility. “By expanding eligibility thresholds for these programs, we are helping to ensure that more seniors across the province have access to the dental and health care services they deserve to stay healthy, improve their quality of life, and age with dignity.”

Through Your Health: Connected Accessible Care, the Ontario government is making it easier and faster for people to get the care they need closer to home.

The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program launched in 2019 to help eligible low-income seniors across the province receive free routine dental care. To date, more than 149,000 seniors have participated in the program. Seniors who don’t have a Social Security Number (SIN) or didn’t file a tax return last year can still apply.

The Senior Copay Program helps low-income seniors get the medications they need without an annual deductible and with a reduced copay of $2 or less per eligible prescription. In 2023, more than 400,000 seniors will be enrolled.

People in Ontario are automatically enrolled in the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan in the first month after they turn 65. The plan covers most costs for more than 5,000 prescription drug products.

Seniors pay the first $100 of prescription drug costs per year (deductible) and up to $6.11 per prescription cost (copayment).

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Image by JOSEPH SHOHMELIAN from Pixabay

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