Skip to main content

The recent unveiling of the Canada Dental Care Plan (CDCP) by the federal government prompted a number of contacts to our office. Typical questions included “how do I apply”, “when will it start for me” and even a few people mused about cancelling their current dental plan.

But our Pensions and Benefits Committee, in concert with our friends at the BC Teachers’ Pension Plan have dug into eligibility rules for the program and the facts might surprise you.

It was expected that there might be a level of means testing for eligibility, such that retirees with relatively higher level of income might not qualify.

The reality was much more stark, however. According to clarifications recently made by the federal government, any person who has access to a dental plan of any kind is not eligible for participation in the CDCP. That means that all retired teachers in British Columbia are excluded from the plan. Why? Because our BC retirees can opt in to either the Green Shield dental plan sponsored by the TPP, or sign up for BCRTA’s own dental plan by Johnson Insurance. It is important to note that neither of these dental plans are subsidized by government or employers – participants pay the entire premium. The resulting higher premiums can make these dental plans too expensive for those with smaller pensions.

Nevertheless, under the rules of the CDCP, all retired teachers in BC are excluded from coverage.

BCRTA will continue to follow news about this program and advocate for retired teachers in BC, and we are lobbying for changes to the eligibility rules.