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Canada

Federal dental care program will exclude 4.4M uninsured Canadians: report

OTTAWA — A new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says millions of uninsured Canadians will be left out of the new federal dental program because their family income is too high.

Enrolment began last month for a new federal benefits program, which was developed as a condition of a political pact between the Liberal government and the NDP.

It will see the federal government offer dental benefits to uninsured families with a household income under $90,000 per year, starting with seniors, children under the age of 18 and people with disabilities.

The report’s author David Macdonald says when the program is fully implemented in 2025, 4.4 million people who don’t have dental benefits of their own will be excluded because of the income cap.

Macdonald estimates it would cost $1.45 billion to extend the coverage to people whose income exceeds the cap in 2025, on top of the $3.3 billion already budgeted for the program that year.

He argues that $45,000 per adult is not a particularly large income for a family with two parents and children, but those salaries would bar the family from accessing the government program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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