After lengthy negotiations and an arbitration process, PSAC has won a major victory for the Public Service Dental Care Plan, which will result in substantial improvements for your coverage.
“The government dragged this process out by trying to get us to accept reduced coverage for our members,” said Chris Aylward, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. “But our position has always been that our members deserve better, and I’m very pleased that the arbitration panel agreed with us.”
The major highlight is a 47% increase to the annual maximum for routine and major services. The current maximum of $1,700 per year will gradually increase to $2,500 per year as follows:
- $2,000 per year starting on January 1, 2019;
- $2,250 per year starting on January 1, 2020; and
- $2,500 per year starting on January 1, 2021.
Additionally, as of January 1, 2019, the following changes will be made:
- Dental implants will be covered. Implants had been partially covered by deeming them to be another procedure (i.e. bridge or denture). This would often lead to gaps in (or problems with) coverage. They are now covered in their own right.
- Coverage for replacement fillings for children will be possible 12 months after the initial filling was done (instead of 24).
- Congenitally missing teeth will be covered until age 21 (up from 19).
- Coverage during suspensions is improved.
- An allowable break in service to become eligible for the plan is extended from 5 to 7 days. Ability to have coverage for extra scaling approved retroactively. Currently, this may only be approved going forward.
The full text of the new dental plan will be posted online in the near future.
The government made a large number of proposals to the arbitration panel that sought to weaken the dental plan. Very few of them were accepted and the ones that were accepted are small and have a very minor impact on plan members. These are:
- Charges for oral hygiene instructions will now be limited to once per lifetime per adult (and remain once per year for children).
- Coverage is eliminated for minor issues such as:
- The assistance of a second oral surgeon.
- Dental professional peer consultation.
- Trauma control if done at the same time as treatment for caries or pain control.
- Enlargement of the canal or pulp chamber as a part of dental treatment separate from doing a root canal.
Any other proposals that are not mentioned above will remain status quo without change.
A version of this article was posted on the PSAC website.