Fears false over kids’ dental care: Health

No changes are being made to the Yukon Children's Dental Program, says the Health Department.

No changes are being made to the Yukon Children’s Dental Program, says the Health Department.

That’s contrary to a news release put out yesterday by NDP Leader Liz Hanson, who worries parents will be expected to pay new costs to care for their children’s teeth.

Each year the territory mails parents a consent form to enroll their children in free basic dental care, available for students from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

This year’s letter includes a new section, which asks parents if they’re covered by private or other insurance.

Insured parents may end up paying deductibles and higher insurance premiums, said Hanson.

“Parents deserve to know the implications of these changes, why no one was consulted and why the changes were not announced,” she said.

But nothing’s changed, said Pat Living, a spokesperson for Health and Social Services.

Pricier dental work was never supposed to have been done on the government’s dime, she said, although there have been exceptions made, “on a case by case basis.”

When a child needs to be taken to hospital for extensive dental work, or can’t receive care because of behavioral problems, this work is referred to a private dentist, and parents are expected to cover the cost, said Living.

The new waiver form is intended to avoid double billing, in which the territory and a private insurer both pay the same bill, said Living.

The new form hasn’t yet been mailed out to parents. When they are, they’ll include an explanatory letter, said Living.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

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