Dental program to help low-income seniors
By Chad Ingram
Published Nov. 26, 2019
The provincial government is rolling out a new dental program for low-income seniors.
The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program will provide free dental services for those 65 and older who meet its criteria.
According to a press release from the province, in addition to being a senior citizen, applicants must be residents of Ontario with an annual net income of $19,300 or less for individuals, or $32,300 or less for a couple. Also, they must not have any other form of dental benefits, including through private insurance or provincial programs such as Ontario Works or ODSP. Coverage is yearly and will expire July 31 of each year, requiring applicants to renew annually.
Coverage includes checkups including scaling, polishing and fluoride; repairing cavities and broken teeth; X-rays; removal of teeth or abnormal tissue; anesthesia; treatment for infection and pain; and treatment for gum conditions and diseases.
Dentures and other dental prosthetics will be partially covered.
Print copies of the application form will be available at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit office in Haliburton, or applications can be done online by visiting www.ontario.ca/SeniorsDental. Anyone with questions can call 416-916-0204 or toll free at 1-833-207-4435.
A social insurance number is required to register, and anyone without a SIN will require the assistance of a guarantor to register.
The program is to be delivered through health units or through partnerships with community health centres or Indigenous health centres. While this infrastructure doesn’t exist in Haliburton County, the health unit is working with Volunteer Dental Outreach to facilitate the program.
“We are currently working with Volunteer Dental Outreach in Haliburton to have a service delivery option for eligible seniors in Haliburton,” Pam Stuckless, director of health promotion for the HKPR Health Unit told the Echo in an email.
According to the health unit, there may be as many as 4,000 seniors in its jurisdiction eligible for the program.