The local health unit is promoting new income limits that increase eligibility for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP)

“Many seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford to pay for dental care coverage, so having a program in place to help cover the costs is very important, especially when oral health can directly affect a person’s overall health,” says Anna Rusak, a Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. 

“The Ontario Senior Dental Care Program covers the cost of dental care for low-income individuals who are 65 years and older; the program can pay for dental checkups, fillings, x-rays, tooth extractions and other procedures; recently the income limits have been raised meaning more seniors can qualify for the program,” she adds. 

While applauding the expanded eligibility for the program, Rusak says there are also improvements that could be made to the OSDSP. 

These include increasing awareness provincially about the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program so more seniors use it, streamlining the application process, and ensuring seniors in long-term care homes and retirement homes can access the program.

Under the raised limits a single Ontarian aged 65 and older who makes up to $22,200 per year are now eligible for the OSDCP, increased from $19,300 per year.

For couples, the combined income to qualify for the OSDCP goes up to $37,100 per year, about a $5,000 per year increase from the previous income cut-off.

People can visit the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program web page to learn how to apply and print/download application forms. 

Copies of the application form can also be picked up at local Health Unit offices or requested by mail. 

For more information and assistance to complete OSDCP applications, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1247.