Bill C-31 (also known as The Bill to Amend the Indian Act) is one of the most recognizable and impactful pieces of legislation in Canadian history. Although it was originally passed in 1985 to address discrimination within the Act, the bill continues to influence Canadians today.
Recently, Bill C-31 was updated with new legislation, one of which is The Dental Benefit Act. For Canadian dentists, the introduction of this new legislation will create significant changes in how they run their dental practice, receive payment for services, and much more. In this guide, we’ll provide you with an overview of what you need to know about the Bill C-31 Dental Benefit Act.
What is the Dental Benefit Act?
The new Dental Benefit Act aims to provide families in need with the financial assistance required to provide adequate dental care for their children. The Act will provide eligible families with up to $650 per year for two years to help cover the cost of dental care for children under 12 years of age.
Revenue Canada began taking applications for the new program on December 1st, 2022, so dentists can expect to have a significant influx of new patients in 2023. The Government of Canada estimates that the Dental Benefit Act will help around 500,000 children receive dental care. For dentists, this means preparing for a big change. Here’s how you can get started:
How to Prepare for Bill C-31
The Dental Benefit Act will give families without dental insurance an unprecedented opportunity to provide their children with the dental care they need. The biggest impact of Bill C-31 on dentists will be the significant increase in patients looking for services.
More than ever before, it will be crucial for dentists to manage their dental inventory and equipment as efficiently as possible. For many dental practitioners, the influx of new patients may stress their ability to manage the logistics of their business. That’s why a robust inventory management system like Sowingo, where dentists can manage their inventory and get alerts about supplies running short, will be crucial under Bill C-31.
Another critical aspect of preparing for the Dental benefit Act is familiarizing yourself with patient eligibility. Although it is ultimately up to Canada Revenue to determine whether families are eligible to receive the benefit (and if they are, how much they can receive), dental offices will undoubtedly get many calls from inquiring patients, and it would be prudent to have some familiarity with the benefits program.
Patient Eligibility (Understanding the Income Brackets)
Depending on their household’s adjusted annual income, patients can fall into various brackets which impact how much they are eligible to collect from the Dental Benefit Act.
Households making less than $70,000/year are eligible to collect the full $650 per child to cover dental care. For households making from $70,000 – $79,999/year, they can get $390 per child. Finally, households making from $80,000 – $89,999/year are only eligible to claim $260 per child. Households making over $90,000 per year are not eligible for the Dental Benefit Act.
Although the dental benefit has other clauses which impact a patient’s eligibility for the benefit, the above income breakdown is a good indication of whether a household will be able to access the Dental Benefit Act. If the patient wants more information, refer them to the Revenue Canada webpage, as they’ll need to apply with Revenue Canada to access the benefit.
Collecting Payment Under Bill C-31
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Dental Benefit Act, it’s time to talk about how to collect payment from clients under Bill C-31. For many dentists, the implementation of this new bill amendment came with a lot of stress about how it would impact their ability to collect timely compensation for their services.
Fortunately, collecting payment from a patient under Bill C-31 is no different than getting paid by a regular client. It is up to the patient to apply for the dental benefit with Revenue Canada and receive the money. There is no new framework for how Dental Benefit Act patients remunerate you for your dental services – they pay at the front desk like everyone else.
Managing Your Dental Practice Inventory Has Never Been Easier
If you’re still managing your dental practice’s supplies and inventory with pen and paper or digital spreadsheets, it’s time to make a change.
With the implementation of the Dental Benefit Act, your services will be in higher demand than ever before. You need a powerful inventory management system that’s created for the specific needs of dental practices. Generic inventory management solutions might be better than nothing, but only Sowingo is tailored for dentists like you.
With Sowingo, you can track, manage, and purchase supplies for your dental practice, all from the comfort of a single platform. Our straightforward, user-friendly software integrates seamlessly with your dental practice and instantly lets you supercharge the efficiency of your team with effortless inventory management.
Click the button below to book a demo today and see why more dental professionals are switching to Sowingo!