The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is a federal initiative addressing dental coverage gaps for lower-income households in Canada. Pharmacy owners and pharmacists may be interested in what these healthcare benefits may mean to them.

Pharmacy owners and pharmacists often enjoy higher incomes, which potentially excludes them from the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). However, some may benefit, so it is important to be aware of the program. It’s also crucial for pharmacy owners to understand their responsibilities under the new program when providing dental benefits to their employees, including employer reporting requirements.

Who Benefits?

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is designed to offer dental coverage to lower-income households in Canada who do not have access otherwise to dental benefits. Residents with household incomes below $90,000 annually who do not have dental benefits through employers or other such sources may benefit from this plan to make dental care more accessible.


To qualify, you must meet all eligibility criteria. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, you both need to meet the eligibility criteria. Children qualify based on their parents’ or guardians’ eligibility. You must have:

  • No access to dental insurance through employment, family member benefits, pensions, or group plans.
  • An adjusted family net income below $90,000.
  • Canadian residency for tax purposes.
  • Filed a tax return in the previous year.

If you have dental coverage through a provincial, territorial, or federal government social program, you can still qualify for the CDCP. Coverage between the two plans will be coordinated together.

Co-payments are required, unless a family’s net income is under $70,000. Otherwise, a 40% co-payment for incomes between $70,000 and $79,999, or a 60% co-payment for incomes between $80,000 and $89,999 must be paid.

Employer Reporting

The CDCP is not meant to serve as a substitute for current workplace or private dental coverage. 

Pharmacy owners who offer dental benefits will need to fulfill reporting requirements under this program, confirming to the Canada Revenue Agency about which employees and their families are being provided with dental insurance coverage, including spending and wellness accounts. This information is to be reported on a T4/T4A form.

The Canadian government emphasizes that the CDCP is not designed to replace existing workplace or private dental benefits, and provincial dental organizations encourage employers and other groups to continue to provide dental benefits for their employees and members to ensure continued access to dental care.

woman working with computer


Applications for the CDCP will open in phases, with invitation letters for those who are eligible being sent out as each stage is rolled out. If you believe you are eligible, but have not received a letter, you can apply directly on the Government of Canada Dental Care Plan Benefit website.


Residents aged 65 and older can apply online starting in May 2024, followed by those with Disability Tax Credit certificates or children under 18 in June 2024. All remaining eligible Canadians can apply online in 2025. Detailed information on application timing is also available on the CDCP website.

What Services are Covered?

Health Canada has indicated the general, potential services covered by the CDCP. These services will include preventive ones like scaling and polishing, diagnostic services such as examinations and x-rays, and basic restorative services like fillings. 

Additionally, endodontic services, prosthodontic services (complete and partial removable dentures), periodontal services (deep scaling), and oral surgery services (extractions) may be included. 

However, specific details on coverage have not yet been announced. Some services will not be included until the fall of 2024.

How Does This Relate to the Canada Dental Benefit?

The Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) is a temporary initiative that assists parents of children under 12 with dental expenses. It is set to expire in June 2024. Administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the CDB provides up to $650 annually for two years based on adjusted income. To maintain dental coverage, eligible children under 18 must enroll in the Canada Dental Care Plan (CDCP)

Discover How Canada’s Dental Care Benefit Plan Can Impact Your Personal or Pharmacy Business Finances Specifically

For personalized advice on optimizing your finances, including potential tax benefits from offering dental coverage to pharmacy employees, or insights into the impact of this dental care program on your personal or pharmacy business finances, talk to the experts at Pharma Tax

We can also support you in fulfilling your employer reporting requirements for your pharmacy business.

Ricardo Ardiles
Share This