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As of April 1, 2014, the Childrens Oral Health Program (MSI) will be increasing the age of eligible coverage to under 15. This means that children will have basic dental coverage until the end of the day on their 15th birthday.
It is important to note that this program is far from comprehensive and is designed to provide only basic coverage for dental treatment. The program will cover one examination, 2 bitewing radiographs and ONLY ONE PREVENTATIVE SERVICE per year. As usual, basic restorations (or fillings) are covered.
The problem with the program is that these coverages are generally far less than what the average individual requires to maintain their oral health; especially for teenagers! Changes in hormones and the continued eruption of the adult dentition in these years places teens at a high risk for dental problems. Crowding of teeth during eruption, poor oral hygiene techniques/ practices and diet are a few other additional risk factors. To reduce risk, most individuals will require at a minimum, TWO PREVENTATIVE SERVICES per year.
Many parents have been falsely informed and believe that this program is comprehensive meaning that all services will be covered. The purpose of examination is to not only identify dental problems (such as tooth decay), but to establish the patient's RISK. Each treatment plan is based on the individual's needs to reduce risk. Because the program is basic, it rarely covers the pateint's needs - this means there may be treatment required that is not covered by the program.
For more information on this program, please feel free to contact Dr. Luke Haslam and staff at Basinview Dental Centre or the Quickcard Nova Scotia Chilren's Oral Health Care Program.
Manulife Financial has made a change to insurance coverage regarding scaling (or "cleaning") for individuals under the age of 19. They feel that these individuals do not develop calculus to the extent of an adult and therefore will only cover scaling to a limited amount based solely on age and not individual need. This will have a dramatic affect on the coverage that many patients will have when it comes time for their hygiene to be completed.
It is very rare for individuals over the age of 10 to not require scaling to remove the hard calculus deposits that develop on all of our teeth. Some individuals require more scaling than others depending on their rate at which they develop calculus, their oral hygiene habits, manual dexterity, diet, amount of crowding in their teeth, etc.
If you are a patient and you have Manulife insurance, please feel free to contact their customer service at 1-888-844-8889 and they will answer any questions you may have.