Eligible seniors are currently receiving letters inviting them to enroll in Canada’s $13 billion national dental health plan, but there’s a catch.
People who currently have private dental insurance are not eligible for state insurance.
and According to the government website According to the plan’s description, anyone who opts out of “available benefits” is “still considered to have access to dental coverage.”
This means that switching from a private plan to a public plan is not allowed. However, the Federal Minister of Health has not yet clarified this regulation.
This uncertainty has left seniors with minimal private dental insurance or those who have purchased their own plans worried that they are being left behind.
“There’s a double standard,” said Richard McDonald Donaldson, 71, who pays $180 a month for his private insurance plan.
Starting in May, Canadian residents aged 65 and over who live in households with an annual income of less than $90,000 will be able to pay for some or all of their routine dental care through the Canada Dental Care Plan.work like Scaling, fillings, root canals, dentures Covered.
However, if you have existing private dental insurance through your employer, pension, other organization, or a plan you purchased yourself, you will not be eligible to join the new national plan.
“I thought, well, I’m not going to plan my dental treatment. It’s going to cost a lot of money. Then I could get certified,” McDonald-Donaldson said. “But apparently not.”
Mr McDonald-Donaldson said he didn’t feel it was right that seniors like him had to continue paying private insurance premiums.
“The rules seem to be biased against people who have made the effort to get insurance on their own to avoid some dental problems later on,” he says.
“There’s something wrong with that system.”
CBC News has heard from many seniors who are wondering what will happen if they decide to leave their existing dental plan and join a public dental plan.
CBC News has asked Health Canada and Health Minister Mark Holland’s office to explain how withdrawing from existing private insurance plans will affect a person’s eligibility for the national dental health plan. However, no answer was obtained.
“The Canada Dental Care Plan aims to help the approximately nine million Canadians who do not have access to dental insurance,” the Dutch office said in a statement.
St. Thomas, Ontario. Doug Carter, a retiree, has a small dental insurance plan through his former employer, but the plan only reimburses him for basic dental care at an amount equal to the cost of his surgery in 1988. He said he needs a tooth replaced but his insurance won’t cover it. .
“It really makes me think, what am I going to do? $4,000 is a lot of money,” Carter said.
“I don’t think it’s fair, because when you’re doing so little in reporting, you’re just taking a whole group of people and saying, ‘We don’t care.'”
Mr Carter said seniors should be allowed the option to leave their private insurance plan and switch to a state insurance plan, adding: “If the plan they’re on is pretty bad…in this case, this is… That applies,” he said.
Ottawa needs to explain rules, experts say
Dental program experts say Ottawa needs to provide answers.
“This policy approach may not fully cover all the situations that are occurring here,” said Dr. Carlos Quiñones, dean of dentistry at Western University in London, Ont.
“Maybe even if I abandon my plan, there is a waiting period that I have to respect before I can get coverage under the federal plan?
“These are important questions that need clarification.”
Quiñones said if the goal is to reduce financial barriers to dental care, Ottawa must be “underinsured,” meaning people with only minimal private dental plans cannot afford to pay for necessary work that their plans don’t cover. He said that we should focus on the problems of people who don’t have enough money.
Still, any government program must set limits and rules in order to work within the allocated funds, which inevitably leaves some people behind. Quiñones said.
“There are always winners and losers. I know that’s not a kind thing to say, but that’s the reality,” he said.
For now, Quiñones said he is advising seniors to continue with their current private dental insurance plans until the federal government provides more clarity.
Do you have questions about how Canada’s new dental care plan affects you? Email email@example.com.