Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors

Eligible seniors can get help covering the cost of basic dental and optical services.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs you must:

  • be 65 years of age or older
  • have lived in Alberta for at least 3 months immediately before applying
  • be a Canadian citizen, or have been admitted into Canada for permanent residence
  • have an annual income within established program thresholds

Eligible seniors who have fulfilled residency requirements will begin to receive dental and optical benefits on their 65th birthday.

For more information on program eligibility, read the Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors brochure.

Income

Your eligibility for the Dental and Optical Assistance for Seniors programs is determined using prior year's total income (line 150 of the personal tax form) as reported to Canada Revenue Agency.

Marital status Total household annual income Dental benefits Optical benefits
Single senior $0 to $27,690 100% (maximum coverage) Up to $230
$27,691 to $31,675 99 to 10% (partial coverage) Up to $115
Over $31,675 Not eligible Not eligible
Senior couple $0 to $55,380 100% (maximum coverage) Up to $230
$55,381 to $63,350 99% to 10% (partial coverage) Up to $115
Over $63,350 Not eligible Not eligible
Maximum coverage
There is a maximum amount of coverage for each dental procedure and a specific number of times you can receive assistance for some procedures. If you are eligible for the maximum amount, then you are eligible for up to the maximum coverage allowed under the schedule of dental procedures for eligible services.
Partial coverage
Minimum dental coverage of 10% increases to 99% as income decreases.

Use the Seniors Benefit Estimator to see if you are eligible for benefits.

How to apply

You must complete and submit the Seniors Financial Assistance application form (PDF, 354 KB) before accessing Dental and Optical Assistance benefits. If you have already submitted the Seniors Financial Assistance application form for another program, there is no need to apply again.

Once you are enrolled, your service provider can confirm your eligibility and coverage levels before proceeding with your treatment or claim(s):

Dental coverage

Eligible seniors are covered for select dental services up to a maximum of $5,000 every 5 years.

Services covered

  • Diagnostic services (examinations and x-rays)
  • Preventative services (polishing and scaling)
  • Restorative services (fillings, trauma/pain control/pins)
  • Extractions (simple and complicated)
  • Root canals (endodontics)
  • Procedures relating to gum disease (periodontics, root planing)
  • Dentures (prosthodontics, full and partial basic dentures)

Services not covered

  • Bridges
  • Crowns
  • Braces
  • Implants
  • Fluoride treatment
  • Teeth bleaching
  • Inlays (gold or gems)

Frequency limitation

Frequency limitations may apply for covered services.  Please contact your dental provider if you have specific questions about your treatment plan and services required.

You may wish to have your dental provider submit a predetermination to the Alberta Dental Service Corporation before receiving dental services. This process will help to identify any dental costs you may be responsible for paying.

The Dental Assistance for Seniors program's schedule of dental procedures and fees includes basic dental procedures and services in order to maintain good dental health.

Optical coverage

Eligible seniors are covered for select optical services up to $230 every 3 years.

Services covered

Prescription eyeglasses, including lenses and frames from a recognized optical provider. The maximum amount covered is based on your eligibility at the time of purchase.

Services not covered

  • Eye surgery
  • Eye exams
  • Accessories
  • Magnifying devices
  • Eye medication
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
  • Reading glasses not dispensed by optical provider

Frequency limitation

A senior may receive the maximum optical benefit once every 3 years. The 3-year period begins from the date of the first optical service that is funded.

If you do not use the maximum benefit, you can submit additional expenses before the 3-year period ends.

Special circumstances may be taken into consideration, for example, greater frequency resulting from cataract surgery.

Submit a claim

To submit a claim you must first be enrolled in the Seniors Financial Assistance programs.

The Ministry of Health has partnered with the Alberta Dental Service Corporation to administer dental claims and Alberta Blue Cross to administer optical claims.

Each administrator provides information regarding procedures, answers questions regarding claims and issues payments to either the service provider or the senior if a reimbursement is required.

Step 1: Talk to your health service provider when visiting

When visiting a dental or optical office, show your Alberta personal health number and tell the service provider that you are a senior.

The service provider can confirm your coverage level and eligibility at the time of your appointment.

Step 2: Pay for services

If direct bill is available, pay amounts not covered by your plan

Dental or optical offices may bill directly for services provided to you. If your service provider accepts this method, you will only be required to pay amounts not covered by your plan.

In these cases, skip step 3.

If direct bill is not available, pay the full amount and fill out a reimbursement claim

Your service provider must complete a section of the reimbursement form.

Step 3: Submit a reimbursement claim

If direct bill was available, you can skip this step.

Forms are available from:

Completed forms can be mailed to the address on the form.

Please include your personal health number on your claim.

Claims must be submitted within 12 months of an expense being incurred.

Exceptions and reviews

You can request a review if you were denied funding or funded less than expected for a dental or optical claim.

Dental claim reviews and exceptions

To request an explanation of the income information used to determine your eligibility for the Dental Assistance for Seniors Program:

Call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992

If you have any questions regarding the outcome of a dental claim or the amount of a payment:

Step 1: Contact the Alberta Dental Service Corporation (ADSC)

Phone: 1-800-232-1997, select option 1, then option 1 again
Email is available by visiting the Alberta Dental Service Corporation website.

Step 2: Write to the Alberta Dental Service Corporation

If you were unable to resolve the issue over the phone, request a review in writing:

Alberta Dental Service Corporation
17010 103 Avenue NW
200 Quikcard Centre
Edmonton, Alberta  T5S 1K7

Your dental provider may also submit a request on your behalf. The dental provider will need to submit a treatment plan and all supporting documents for review and consideration.

Optical claim reviews and exceptions

To request an explanation of the income information used to determine your eligibility for the Optical Assistance for Seniors Program:

Call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992

If you have any questions regarding the outcome of an optical claim or the amount of a payment:

Write to the Optical Assistance for Seniors Program

PO Box 3100 Stn Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4W3

The executive director will review the claims adjudication by comparing the decision to policies and make a decision. If there are discretionary options identified, the executive director determines whether it is appropriate to apply discretion in this case.

Contact

To connect with the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:

Hours: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-9992 (in Edmonton)
Toll free: 1-877-644-9992