The New Canadian Dental Care Plan

On December 11 2023, the federal government announced it will introduce the new Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP).

The new dental plan will help ease financial barriers to accessing oral health care for eligible Canadian residents. About nine million Canadians do not have access to dental care coverage. They have no access to dental insurance through their work, a pension plan, or a private plan.

Applications will open in phases

Starting with seniors, the CDCP will provide coverage for those without dental insurance and who have a family income of under $90,000.

Applications for the new CDCP will first open as follows:

  • for seniors aged 87 and older in December 2023
  • for those aged 77 to 86 in January 2024
  • for those aged 72 to 76 in February 2024
  • those aged 70 to 71 years in March 2024

These tax filers will receive letters inviting them to apply with a personalized application code and instructions on how to apply online through Service Canada. They will also be able to apply by telephone.

The letters will be sent to people who are:

  • are 70 years old by March 31, 2024;
  • have a family income less than $90,000 based on their 2022 tax returns; and
  • were a resident of Canada in 2022 for tax purposes.

Later in the year, younger Canadians will be invited to apply:

  • for seniors aged 65 and older can apply in May 2024
  • for those with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate can apply online in June 2024
  • families with children under the age of 18 can also apply online as of June 2024
  • All remaining eligible Canadian residents (ages 19-64) will be able to apply online in 2025.

From December 2023 until end of April 2024, seniors who receive invitation letters may call Service Canada to apply via an automated Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. They will be required to indicate whether they have access to any type of dental benefits. The applicant will immediately be notified whether they have been successful in applying and are eligible. They will also receive a letter confirming this information.

Sun Life is the Provider

Once an individual is determined to be eligible, Service Canada will share the applicant’s information with Sun Life, who will enroll eligible applicants in the CDCP and will send them a welcome package, including information on the CDCP, coverage details, their member card, and the start date of their coverage.

Benefits should be provided as early as May 2024, starting with seniors and according to their various eligibility start dates. This means that appointments with oral health care providers cannot start before these coverages start dates. The CDCP will not reimburse oral health care services received before the start date provided in the welcome package from Sun Life.

When booking an appointment with an oral health provider, make sure to ask if they have enrolled in the CDCP.

What is covered?

The plan will cover services by dentists and dental hygienists, as well as specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. Examples of services that will be covered include cleaning, polishing, sealants and fluoride; examinations and x-rays; fillings and root canals; prosthodontic services such as complete and partial removable dentures; deep scaling and extractions.


Exactly how much will be paid? Only a percentage of eligible expenses will be paid at the established CDCP fee rates. This will depend on the family income as follows:

  • no co-payment for those with family income under $70,000; the plan will cover 100% of the expenses;
  • a 40% co-payment for those with family income between $70,000 and $79,999;
  • a 60% co-payment for those with family income between $80,000 and $89,999.

The Existing Canada Dental Benefit

The new plan is not the same as the current interim plan, which is important. Eligibility for children 12 and under continues under the Canada Dental Benefit for families with income under $90,000. A tax-free payment of $260, $390, or $650 is available for each eligible child, depending on income level. A maximum of 2 payments per child can be applied for until June 30, 2024, for dental care received between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 and one additional payment if certain criteria is met.

Employers Beware – new T4 Reporting for 2023

On November 16th the Government of Canada announced there will be changes with the reporting of T4 slips for employers in Canada. With the introduction of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan for uninsured Canadians with family incomes under $90,000, this reporting will be required to ensure only eligible Canadian are applying to this program. Employers who fail to be compliant and do not report the required information may result in financial penalties.

What needs to be reported on the T4/T4A?

Employers/Pensions will be required to report if an employee had access to dental insurance or dental benefits of any kind during the 2023 tax year and future tax years.

Employers/Pensions will need to identify who the coverage was available to and complete box 45 with the appropriate code description. The Code Access (descriptions) options are:

  • Not eligible to access any dental care insurance, or coverage of dental services of any kind
  • Payee only
  • Payee and their spouse
  • Payee, spouse, and dependent children
  • Payee and their dependent children

File your 2022 taxes!

If you have not filed your 2022 tax return yet, another reason to file as soon as possible if you may be eligible for this new dental benefit. We can continue to e-file 2022 and earlier tax returns until CRA closes January 26 2024 and then CRA will reopen for 2023 tax filing on February 20 2024.

Happy New Year! Bonne année! Frohes Neues Jahr! Godt Nyt Aar!

Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial

Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact Ste

Anne Tax Service at 204.422.6631 (phone or text!) or 36 Dawson Road in

Ste Anne (near Co-op) or