Canadian seniors over 87 can apply to join federal dental plan starting next week

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Seniors over the age of 87 will be the first cohort that can apply to join a new federal dental-benefits plan, which will be phased in slowly over the next year.

Health Minister Mark Holland is announcing the rollout of the program this morning, and it is budgeted to cost $13 billion over the next five years.

The program is aimed at people with an annual household income under $90,000 who don't have access to private insurance.

Eligibility will be slowly expanded over the course of 2024 to include all qualifying seniors, children under the age of 18 and people with disabilities.

Once eligibility is expanded to all qualifying Canadian residents in 2025, it will be the government's largest social program.

The dental-benefits plan was originally pitched by the New Democrats, and is a key pillar of the supply-and-confidence deal between the NDP and the Liberals to secure the opposition party's support on key votes.