Ontario Liberals Announce New Pre-Election Dental Program

Ontarians lacking workplace health insurance will get up to $700 a year to defray the cost of medicines and dentist visits starting in summer 2019 under the Wynne government’s pre-election budget.

Augmenting a new OHIP+ pharmacare plan and the existing Healthy Smiles aid for needy families, the promised Ontario Drug and Dental Program would reimburse 80 per cent of eligible prescription drug and dental expenses, Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Wednesday.

But there are annual maximum payouts of $400 for singles, $600 for couples and $700 for a family of four with two children, prompting the Ontario Dental Association to warn the program “does not take meaningful action for kids from low-income families” given that $121 million in annual funding for Healthy Smiles is not keeping up with demand.

“The caps are so low,” added Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition. “It looks like what they tried to do is the cheapest version that was possible.”

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