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Dentists decry being left in the dark about federal dental insurance plan

OTTAWA — Canadian dentists are demanding details on Ottawa’s soon-to-be announced federal dental insurance plan and how the federal government plans to preserve existing provincial and private coverage. 

Eleven provincial and territorial dental associations wrote a joint letter to the federal health minister to express serious concerns about a lack of information when it comes to critical aspects of the new plan.

The plan was born out of the Liberals’ supply-and-confidence deal with the NDP last year, which calls for federal dental care coverage for middle- and low-income families. 

The new insurance program is expected to be announced before the end of the year, though claims may not be accepted until 2024. 

The dentists say they’ve raised their questions with federal officials, but do not feel they’ve been heard and aren’t able to answer their patients’ questions about the anticipated program.

The health minister did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has said he doesn’t want to pre-empt the official announcement. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2023.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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