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Health and Community Services
Advanced Education and Skills
January 5, 2012

Improved Access for More People Through New Adult Dental Program

The new Adult Dental Program, which will provide enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic dental services to approximately 98,000 adults, became effective on January 1, 2012. The program is part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Health Plan.

“Dental health is so often linked to an individual’s physical and mental well-being,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services. “The expansion of the Dental Health Plan will ensure that more residents of our province, who have difficulty availing of regular dental services, will now have the ability to access proper dental care.”

The new Adult Dental Program encompasses examinations, extractions and fillings as well as dentures. This program will be available to clients who are enrolled in the following Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program plans: the Foundation Plan, which provides coverage to a number of individuals, including 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.

“The Adult Dental Program is a key example of a Poverty Reduction Strategy initiative that will significantly improve the quality of life for people in vulnerable circumstances,” said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills and lead minister for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “This investment directly responds to requests received during our poverty reduction consultations, and will further our fight against poverty to help ensure all citizens have an opportunity to succeed and prosper.”

The Poverty Reduction Strategy comprises more than 80 ongoing initiatives created in consultation with advocates, experts, and people with low incomes. Through this strategy the Provincial Government is working to prevent, reduce and alleviate the poverty experienced by vulnerable people throughout the province.

Information packages on the new Adult Dental Program have been sent to all dentists and denturists in the province. The Provincial Government continues to work to address the current fee guide for dentures. Clients who choose a provider who has not yet been registered under the Dental Health Plan may have to pay upfront for their eligible services and will then be reimbursed, at the approved rates, by the Provincial Government.

“We recognize this may place a burden on some individuals,” said Minister Sullivan. “However, our government is working toward providing a solution that will hopefully see all providers participating in and billing the plan directly in the near future.”

In Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador approximately $10.1 million was allocated for the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Health Plan. As part of this investment, $1.5 million was provided to expand the Adult Dental Program and improve access to dental services for people with low incomes. Once fully operational, the new plan will involve an annual investment of $6.1 million.

Residents with questions regarding their eligibility can call 1-888-859-3535. Beneficiaries seeking further information on eligible services and whether their provider is registered and/or how to submit receipts for reimbursement can call 1-800-563-2163.

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Media contacts:

Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 699-6524
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Advanced Education and Skills
709-729-0753, 728-7762

2012 01 05             1:10 p.m.

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