Updated as of May 2024.

While more Canadians will now have access to dental care with the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), navigating the eligibility requirements can be challenging. The Government of Canada recently published additional information regarding the next phase of the CDCP.  Here’s what you need to know.

What is the CDCP?

The CDCP is a federal government program that provides dental coverage for those meeting specific eligibility criteria. Since not everyone will qualify for this new plan, we are here to help you understand what has been released about the plan so far.

Am I eligible for the CDCP?

To qualify for the CDCP, you must meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a Canadian resident for tax purposes.
  • Have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000.
  • Have filed your tax return in the previous year.
  • Not have access to dental insurance. Not having access to dental coverage is defined as no dental insurance
    • through an individual’s employer benefits or that of a family member, including health and wellness accounts;
    • through an individual’s pension (through their previous employer) or a family member’s pension benefits; or
    • purchased by an individual or a family member, or through a group plan, from an insurance or benefits company.

Eligibility requirements must be met every year for continued coverage through the CDCP.

Canadian residents who have access to dental coverage through a social program offered by a province or territory and/or the federal government can still quality for the CDCP if they meet all the eligibility criteria.

Please note the following:

  • Any level of dental coverage offered by an employer, including health spending accounts, is considered access to dental coverage, even if the employee opts out of dental coverage. 
  • A privately purchased benefits plan is specifically defined as privately purchased dental insurance, meaning those with private insurance for other benefits such as drug, health or travel coverage can still qualify.

How can I apply for the CDCP?

Eligible children under the age of 12 may qualify for the current interim solution administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. This interim benefit became effective December 1, 2022 and has an end date of June 30, 2024. Learn more about the Canada Dental Benefit.

Application for the CDCP for other eligible individuals opens to those with an adjusted family net income
of less than $90,000 in phases according to the below schedule. For more information about applying please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan/apply.html#apply-online.

Age groupStart date
Seniors aged 87 and olderDecember 2023
Seniors aged 77 to 86January 2024
Seniors aged 72 to 76February 2024
Seniors aged 70 to 71March 2024
Seniors aged 65 to 69May 2024
Adults with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificateJune 2024
Children under the age of 18June 2024
All remaining eligible Canadian residentsStarting 2025

Those who apply and are successfully enrolled in the CDCP will receive a member card, coverage start date and information regarding the program.

Please note: the earliest coverage commenced for qualified applications was May 2024. Your start date depends on your age, when your application is received and when your enrolment is completed.

What dental services are covered under the CDCP?

Details on services covered can be found on the CDCP website. More specific information regarding the coverage amounts available for specific services can be found in the CDCP Dental Benefits Guide.

It should be noted that the CDCP has a defined list of dental services that will be covered; some of these services will only become available in October or November of 2024 and will require preauthorization for coverage.

How much does the CDCP cover?

The CDCP will cover a percentage of eligible expenses based on adjusted net family income.

Adjusted family net incomeHow much will the CDCP cover at CDCP-established feesHow much you will cover*
Lower than $70,000100 per cent0 per cent
Between $70,000 and $79,99960 per cent40 per cent
Between $80,000 and $89,99940 per cent60 per cent

*Please note that even with coverage under the CDCP, individuals may still experience out-of-pocket costs for the following reasons:

  • Those with adjusted family incomes between $70,000 to $89,999 will have co-payments between 40 to 60 per cent.
  • The CDCP will only pay based on their established CDCP fees, which are not the same as the provincial and territorial fee guides.
  • Oral health providers are encouraged to follow the CDCP fees, but individuals will be required to cover the balance for expenses higher than those fees. This means that someone covered for 100 per cent of eligible oral health care service costs under the CDCP may still face additional costs. Oral health care providers may charge higher than the CDCP fees, and certain services may not be covered under the CDCP.
  • According to the CDCP website, individuals should always ask their dental provider about any costs that won’t be covered by the CDCP plan before receiving oral health care.
  • Prior to July 8, 2024, individuals must visit a dental provider that has formally signed up to participate as a CDCP provider. As of this date, all dental providers will be able to submit claims on behalf of CDCP patients.  

As an employer, what are my obligations?

The CDCP is limited to those who do not have access to dental coverage through their employer or a privately purchased benefits plan. It is important to understand what is considered access. Any level of dental coverage offered by an employer, including health spending accounts, is considered access to dental coverage, even if the employee opts out of dental coverage.

Effective the 2023 taxation year, employers will be required to indicate on their employees’ T4 or T4A whether each employee or any of their family members were eligible, on December 31 of each year, to access any dental care insurance. 

Please refer to the following Canada Revenue Agency sites for details:

Questions

We’ll share information about this new plan as the details become available.

If you have any questions about eligibility requirements for the CDCP, please visit  Canadian Dental Care Plan – Canada.ca

If you require assistance navigating your Alberta Blue Cross plan options, please Contact Us

39 Comments

  • Lee Ettinger says:

    So…………… as a VERY low income senior who has a significant chunk of cash deducted from my private pension payment for FAR FROM ADEQUATE dental services plan, I am apparently prohibited from participating in a federal program funded directly with taxpayer dollars. This is highly discriminatory to those who have worked and paid taxes in this country for 50 years and more. I was planning to cancel the private coverage anyways as it is pretty much worthless, and takes money I can ill afford to spend. ……….It covers virtually nothing compared to the proposed CDCP. Still, the government sees fit to penalize me for having paid all those years into a dental coverage plan that provides little benefit…………. sad to say, I’m not surprised……….

    • Hannah A says:

      Wait, why can’t you still benefit from the CDCP even if you cancel your dental plan with Blue Cross? Please elaborate. Thanks

  • S Smith says:

    Lee. I am disgusted by the fact that you found out the new plan will not let you join if you cancel your present, apparently not effective, plan. I too would benefit more from cancelling Blue Cross and going with the new Canada plan.

  • Patricia says:

    We were just discussing this same situation we are seniors and the price for Blue Cross dental and prescription drugs is $300.00/ month not sure why seniors are completely on their own since IMO if you make 90K a year pretty sure you can afford a dental plan . IMO this is really badly thought out idea with no regard for people left with the huge bills to make sure they have dental coverage which BTW IMO should have always been covered with our medical plans in every Province . We have a dental plan because we do not have the money to pay out of pocket when something needs to done

  • Carol says:

    I have been wondering about how all this will work. So am I correct in my understanding that if I have Blue Cross coverage for Seniors and have been paying extra for Level B Blue Cross Assured I am not eligible for the Federal Plan?

  • Bjorka says:

    So, I was reading that if yo have dental coverage through a provincial, territorial or federal government social program, you can still qualify for the CDCP. If you meet all the eligibility criteria, your cover will be coordinated between the plans to ensure there are no duplication or gaps in coverage. So I’m assuming that us seniors that have Blue Cross in Alberta will probably be covered under the CDCP as well. That’s the way I understand it. Am I right??

    • Hi Bjorka. You are correct, you can still qualify for the CDCP. Even if you have the provincially funded Seniors dental coverage, you can still qualify for the CDCP and the two plans will be coordinated.

      • Monty says:

        That’s not how I’m reading it on the CANADA website. Regarding retirees with a Prov gov’t sponsored plan, it seems to say we CAN’T apply for CDCP unles we cancelled it before Dec 23. Is that not what I’m seeing here?
        ========================================================
        not have access to dental insurance
        What does not having access to dental insurance mean?
        This means you do not have access to any type of dental insurance or coverage through:

        your employment benefits or a family member’s employment benefits, including health and wellness accounts
        a professional or student organization
        Note: If you’re eligible for dental coverage through your employment benefits or through a professional or student organization, you’re not eligible for CDCP. This is true even if:
        you decide not to take it
        you have to pay a premium for it
        you don’t use it
        👇👇👇👇👇👇👇
        your pension benefits or a family member’s pension benefits
        this includes federal, provincial and territorial government employer pension plans
        Exception: You may be eligible for the CDCP if you’re retired and:
        you opted out of pension benefits before December 11, 2023, and
        you can’t opt back in under the pension rules
        coverage purchased by you or a family member or through a group plan from an insurance or benefits company
        if you purchased your current dental insurance policy privately (and not as part of any of the coverage described above), you’re not eligible for the CDCP while that coverage is in effect.

  • Geraldo says:

    All the Seniors who make less than 70,000 or meet the eligibility criteria should be fully covered without any strings attached by CDCP, as they worked hard
    and paid their taxes during all their time when they had to. It should help Seniors first and the rest.

  • Joyce Kirbyson says:

    My husband, Grant, & I, Joyce have been Alberta BLUE CROSS members since May of 2017. We are very confused regarding eligibility for CDCP because of having this coverage. We understand the eligibility regarding the Income, but criteria regarding eligibility because of being BLUE CROSS MEMBERS IS NOT entirely clear. We have received the forms for CDCP, and plan to start the process . We do not wish to cancel our present BLUE CROSS COVERAGE.

  • Matthew Bushey says:

    Surely blue cross could help seniors with this issue. Can seniors apply for cdcp before they cancel their blue cross b coverage? Or must seniors cancel their blue cross coverage to get cdcp? Or is it the absurd case that if you have blue cross you can never get cdcp?

  • Rose Marie Boychuk says:

    I am a senior and have the added advantage plan. Do I have to cancel the advantage part to qualify for the CDCP plan ?

    I wish you had a chart Govt vs Blue Cross ….. I find this apple vs Apple confusing.

  • Carol Armstrong says:

    I pay for the Blue Cross, ‘Blue Assured”; which provides some Health, Vision and Dental Coverage. I contacted Service Canada to ask whether the fact that I pay for that Blue Cross plan disqualifies me from applying for the new Canadian Dental Care Plan. I was told to call Blue Cross. I realize kBlue Cross has had a dental plan for low income seniors which is different from some of the paid plans. It seems a simple question; for those of us that pay a monthly premium for Blue Assured still quality and apply for the new Canadian Dental Care Plan? Thank you for any help you can provide.

    • Rob Walker says:

      This sounds like a cop out! As I read the comments and questions. The key question is: Does the paid for Blue Cross program prevent coverage with the federal program. Carol Armstrong asks:
      “It seems a simple question; for those of us that pay a monthly premium for Blue Assured still quality and apply for the new Canadian Dental Care Plan?
      You reply:
      Hi Carol, please give our team a call and they will be able to provide you with this information. 1-800-394-1965.
      Why not address this in the comments. It cannot be that difficult!

      • Hi Rob, if you hold an Alberta Blue Cross’ Blue Assured plan, with dental option, you would not be eligible for the CDCP. However, if you choose to opt out of the dental portion of the Blue Assured plan, you could apply for the CDCP. We would be happy to have a Personal Benefit Consultant reach out to you if you need assistance in making a plan change.

    • Barb G says:

      it’s a simple yes or no question, does being on ABC Blue Assured disqualify us from Canadian Dental Care plan.
      Why do you not simply give the answer here to also help the rest of us asking that same question?

      • Hi Barb, if you hold Alberta Blue Cross’ Blue Assured plan, with dental option, you would not be eligible for the CDCP. However, if you choose to opt out of the dental portion of the Blue Assured plan, you could apply for the CDCP. We would be happy to have a Personal Benefit Consultant reach out to you if you need assistance in making a plan change.

      • JOSE says:

        absolutely that would help everyone with the same question rather than asking again and again. PLEASE CLARIFY.

        • Hi Jose, As per the guidelines of the CDCP, yes one of the qualifiers for the program is you not having access to dental coverage on a personal health and dental plan. To review your options or make changes to your plan, please call 1-800-394-1964

      • Reta T says:

        I feel your pain.

  • David Mannock says:

    New plan this, new plan that, but there’s insufficient info on the integration of the new plans with existing plans. I have the free seniors plan & ABC group C plan for which I pay the equivalent of my old non-group & AB BC plan. My present situation covers my 11 oral meds/d + 1 daily injectable + 1 weekly injectable including all co-payments. I need a new CPAP pump too & supplies. Also, I am working towards a total knee replacement after 8 years of what has been the most delightful pain some years. I have not been able start up my biz as I need 2 good legs to use the lifting aids. Electric hoist to be installed soon. Taxes have not been done since 2016 as I need to produce something to claim for machinery purchased using RRSPs, etc. The Govt of Canada allows non-compliant equipment into the country when it should be vetted by CBS

    The free access to exercise programs has been reduced to the “Prescription to get active” which requires me to pay after the first 2-4 weeks depending on the location. After that I must negotiate a ‘deal’. The “Glad” program (a new discovery) for people with chronic diseases adds to this, but is often virtual. More virtual classes in the home or attendance at the PCN – a private network which is difficult to get to on public transport in my area of Edmonton with no car in the winter. Yes, we do have a choice of which one we go to, but the GP must fill out paperwork! It seems that they do not want us to stay healthy, just pay money for visits with people who are overworked, underpaid & who don’t understand the system either, never mind modern medicine! Major revisions are required at many levels! Let’s all phone the PM, the Premier, the Health Minister(s) & ask for cheat sheets to organize people.

    It seems that each individual must work everything out themselves in Canada or ignore all of the laws & live off-grid! Municipal, provincial & federal govts should have meetings to hammer out these issues & produce cheat sheets for the public & the professionals. The alternative is that millions of people phone up a 1-800 number only to be greeted by, “All of our staff are currently busy. Please wait on the line & your call will be answered in the order it was received!” Why? AI not working intelligently yet? Just wait until it pushes the ‘Nuke’ button!

  • Glenda Huntley says:

    Please cancel my Blue Cross coverage

  • JOHN CAMPBELL says:

    I’ve read the questions and the replies from Blue Cross regarding CDCP but still haven’t seen a clear answer from Blue Cross. If I have Blue Cross dental coverage, am I disqualified from the CDCP? Yes or no? Surely you have people who have studied the regulations and can give me a straight answer as it directly affects your business. If yes and I am disqualified, can I cancel my Blue Cross dental coverage and be eligible for CDCP (assuming I meet the other criteria)? Thank you.

    • Hi John, As per the guidelines of the CDCP, yes one of the qualifiers for the program is you not having access to dental coverage on a personal health and dental plan. To review your options or make changes to your plan, please call 1-800-394-1964

  • JOSE says:

    I have been taking drug DIN 02270528 40mg.prescribed by my Doctor for some time which earlier was covered under SunLife and ABC health Insurance.
    Recently under Blue Cross only 80mg tablets are covered and not 40mg, as such I do not understand logic where as same tablet is not been covered by Blue cross and I am not advised to take 80mg instead of 40mg, and Blue Cross had no explanation on this issue so far. Why before with SunLife/Blue Cross and not now with Blue Cross/Blue cross? and lately Seniors have extended benefits under AHC.

    • Hi Jose, for questions regarding your coverage, please give our customer service team call at 1-800-661-6995 and they will be able to assist you. Thank you!

      • JOSE says:

        I approached your customer service several times as well other officers no reply forthcoming. They are convinced that it is not justified however
        they could or can’t do much about it. The question is if 80mg is covered under Blue Cross why not 40mg of the same tablet is not covered?
        Can any one answer this?

  • Margo Sheppard says:

    I am 74 years old and retired November 30, 2023. My employer (Western Securities Limited) gave me a severance package of 1 year salary ($83,500) paid out
    in 12 monthly installments (Dec 1, 2023 to Nov 30, 2024). I am also receiving CPP & Old Age Security.

    Do I qualify for this Canadian Dental Plan?

  • Patricia McEown says:

    I spoke to someone at Blue Cross a while ago and they told me you can put your plan with them on hold for $9.99 a month that way you don’t have a waiting period etc. and if you decide you want to go back, you just phoned them and it’s in immediate uncancelled And continue as you were

Leave a Reply