A lucrative contract of up to $15 million has been bestowed upon Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada by the federal government. The goal lies in setting the necessary foundation for a highly anticipated national dental insurance plan.
Bringing this innovative plan to life was a paramount demand from the NDP, aligning as a crucial component of its supply and confidence agreement with the governing Liberals. This plan is set to supersede the temporary dental benefit for children that was introduced the previous year.
The announcement regarding the first contract for this transformative program was made by Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos teamed with Health Minister Mark Holland. The inaugural contract’s role is to absorb the costs of establishing the initial foundation, reserving the eventual contract negotiations for the final plan. The setup costs encompass areas such as recruitment, technology, and intricate business planning.
It’s reported that this provisional agreement has been strategically designed to allow a timely and successful operation of the upcoming dental plan. As per the issued news release, the chief contract is projected to be granted in the fall of 2023, subject to the federal government’s approval.
In their commitment to public welfare, the Liberal government marked 2022 by implementing a temporary dental benefit of up to $650 per child under the age of 12, based on the family’s income. This initiative found 300,000 children gaining access to much-needed aid to cater to their dental fees.
The NDP consistently advocated for an all-encompassing dental care coverage over the years. This cause became a crucial point of negotiation with the Liberals, in return for NDP’s support on key votes in the minority Parliament.
The new insurance program has been slated to commence operations later this year. To begin with, it has planned coverage for children under 18, individuals with disabilities, and seniors. The forthcoming spring budget has earmarked $13 billion for the implementation of the national dental care plan over the next five years. This initiative by the federal government is anticipated to benefit up to nine million individuals.
Furthermore, the new dental plan will cover families with a net annual income below $90,000. For individuals earning below the threshold of $70,000, the plan will ensure dental coverage without the burden of co-pays.