Ontario Launches Free Routine Dental Care for Low-Income SeniorsPublished on November 21, 2019
Ontario Launches Free Routine Dental Care for Low-Income Seniors
Program Will Help Keep Seniors Healthy in Elgin-Middlesex-London
ELGIN-MIDDLESEX-LONDON — As part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, Ontario is investing in programs that keep seniors healthy in their communities longer.
Each year in Ontario, preventable dental issues like gum disease, infections and chronic pain lead to more than 60,000 emergency department visits by patients, of which a significant portion are seniors. Many low-income seniors face challenges accessing regular dental care because they cannot afford it, impacting their overall well-being.
This is why the government is investing approximately $90 million annually for the new Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which will provide free routine dental care for eligible low-income seniors in Elgin-Middlesex-London and across the province. In doing so, the government expects to reduce the number of dental-related emergency department visits, helping to end hallway health care.
Eligible seniors can apply to the program online as of today (ontario.ca/SeniorsDental), or by picking up an application form at a local public health unit.
“By providing seniors with access to quality dental care and keeping them out of hospitals, this new program is a key part of our plan to end hallway health care,” said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health. “Ontario is building a connected system of care that supports all Ontarians throughout their health care journey.”
“The well-being of all Ontario’s seniors is a top priority for this government,” said Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility. “This new dental care program will help eligible seniors receive the quality dental care they deserve. By keeping seniors healthy, we can also help seniors avoid emergency visits to the hospital, prevent chronic diseases, and increase quality of life for seniors across the province.”
“Elgin-Middlesex-London seniors have been clear that this program will play an important role in their overall health and wellbeing,” said MPP Yurek. “I am proud that our government is delivering on this promise and supporting some of our province’s most vulnerable patients.”
Ontarians aged 65 and over with an income of $19,300 or less, or couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or less, who do not have dental benefits, will qualify for the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
Ontario remains committed to building healthier communities and making life more affordable for everyone, including seniors and their families.
- It is estimated that 100,000 low-income seniors will benefit annually from this program once fully implemented.
- Two-thirds of low-income seniors do not have access to dental insurance.
- The new dental care program will be available through public health units, including some mobile dental clinics, as well as participating Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs).
To find out more: Call 416-916-0204