Expanded Adult Dental Health Program to Benefit
Residents with Low Incomes
Enhancements to the Adult Dental Health Program are currently being implemented and will be in effect January 1, 2012. Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador includes an investment of $1.5 million to expand the program and improve access to dental services for people with low incomes. Once fully operational, the Adult Dental Health Program will involve an annual investment of $6.1 million.
“Enhancing quality health care and promoting healthy living is a priority of this government and of the Department of Health and Community Services,” said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services. “Maintaining good oral health is a key to an individual’s overall health. The enhancements our government is making to the Adult Dental Health Program reflect our commitment to ensuring that all residents of the province have the ability to access essential health services.”
Effective January 1, 2012, the Adult Dental Health Program will expand to make select diagnostic and therapeutic dental services available once every three years to adults who are covered under certain Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program plans. Specifically, these are the Foundation Plan, which provides 100 per cent coverage to those in receipt of income support; the Access Plan, which provides support to low income families and individuals; and, the 65+ Plan, which provides coverage to residents 65 years of age and older who receive Old Age Security benefits and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Currently, adults in receipt of income support are covered for dental services related to emergency extractions only.
“Our government is committed to decreasing the financial barriers that exist, and providing the opportunity to improve access to dental health services for individuals with low incomes throughout this province,” added Minister Kennedy.
In addition, the funding included in Budget 2011 will allow coverage of dentures to be expanded from those in receipt of income support to include those covered under the Access Plan and the 65+ Plan. Coverage will be in accordance with the policies of the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment.
“The expansion of the Adult Dental Health Program was one of the Provincial Government’s foremost investments in the Poverty Reduction Strategy through Budget 2011,” said the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Lead Minister for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “This investment directly responds to the requests for better dental coverage that we received during recent poverty consultations, and will significantly improve the quality of life for many people in vulnerable circumstances.”
Since 2006, the Provincial Government has invested approximately $10.9 million in the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Health Program. In 2007, the program expanded to include coverage for select services for all children up to the age of 18 in low income families.
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Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
2011 06 06 9:40 a.m.