Negotiations begin to improve dental benefits for federal workers

Following a labour board decision that found Treasury Board was acting in bad faith by refusing to come to the table, we have now begun negotiations to improve the Public Service Dental Care Plan (PSDP) for over 185,000 federal public service workers.  

PSAC’s proposals include: 

  • Introducing a new annual cap for routine services of $3,000, separate and apart from major services. Currently, the cap is $2,500 for all services, including routine and major services; 
  • Increasing the annual cap for major services to $4,000; 
  • Increasing the reimbursement for major services to 70% (from 50%); 
  • Increasing the lifetime orthodontic limit to $5,000 (from $2,500);  
  • Allowing regular dental cleanings every six months (currently nine months); 
  • Ensuring claims are paid according to this year’s dental fee guide — not last year’s — which will provide higher reimbursement amounts for members; 
  • Eliminating the annual deductible of $25 for those with single coverage and $50 for those with family coverage. 

Read the full list of proposals submitted by PSAC, based on input from members through an online survey. 

Treasury Board proposed a number of minor changes that we will examine and will push back on any proposals that we feel will harm members. 

We will continue to push for fair updates to the plan. If we can’t reach an agreement with the government, we will submit any outstanding issues to arbitration. During the last round, we achieved several major victories following arbitration. 

The dental plan is negotiated for PSAC members employed by the federal government, many of its agencies, and other employers. Refer to the full list of employers covered by this plan to confirm whether it applies to you. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Some issues raised by members in their survey submissions don't require a change to the plan. We’ve highlighted these cases and other frequently asked questions below. 

Is there a proposal to include coverage for direct mail order orthodontics, such as Invisalign or Smile Direct? 

These are already covered by the existing plan, provided your form is filled out and signed by a dentist who is licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where you reside.

Is there a proposal on adult orthodontic coverage?

Currently, there is no age limitation for orthodontic coverage. If you have been denied coverage due to your age, please reach out to your union representative. 

What is the process for coordination of benefits? 

We received many survey submissions regarding the requirement for both spouses to be present at the dental office to coordinate benefits. We will discuss this with the employer to clarify and simplify the process for coordinating benefits with your spouse.

How much can I claim each year?

Log in to the Canada Life portal to see your remaining balance for the year.  

Why doesn’t my dentist offer direct billing?

Many dentists submit claims on behalf of their clients, and only charge the balance owing. Unfortunately, not all dentists offer this service, and some require clients to pay in full and submit a claim for reimbursement. Direct billing is available to all dental professionals, but it is their choice if they want to use it. We cannot control which dental professionals offer this service.  

Can I submit my claims electronically if my dental office doesn’t do direct billing?

Yes. You can submit claims electronically in the Canada Life portal. 

Is there a proposal to cover dental implants?

This is already covered by your existing plan, subject to the annual maximum claim, as we achieved this last round along with other major gains. If you are being denied implant coverage, please reach out to your union representative.

How will this impact retired members?

Retirees are insured through the Pensioners' Dental Services Plan (PDSP), which is a completely separate plan that PSAC does not negotiate. This is different than the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), where retirees are covered by the same plan.  

What about updates to the Public Service Health Care Plan?

We recently successfully negotiated long overdue improvements to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), which provides benefits to most federal public service workers and retirees. All changes will be implemented on July 1.



June 27, 2023