Dental Coverage Plans for a Healthy Smile

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a dentist working on a patient in a dental chair.
February 1, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we know dental appointments can quickly become very expensive. You should always avoid ending up in a situation where you must pay out of pocket to fix a dental issue. That’s why you should always be armed with the best dental insurance. Let’s check out dental coverage plans for a healthy smile.

The Plans

1. Manulife – Manulife is the largest insurance company in Canada and offers dental insurance as part of its group employee benefits. It also offers individual dental plans for those who aren’t eligible for group employee benefits. Their CoverMe individual plan is quite famous and offers both health and dental coverage. The plan is also quite flexible since you get to select your coverage according to your needs.

They even offer a special plan for those who were covered by group employee benefits and lost that coverage after leaving their job or retiring. If you leave or retire from your job and apply for their FollowMe plan within 90 days, you can get easy dental coverage without any hassles. Manulife is so big that they even underwrite dental plans for Costco members and those offered by Canada Protection Plan. So, you’ll have access to the same FlexCare and FollowMe plans from them as well. Their coverage can go up to $920 from the second year. However, that’s still quite low compared to other insurance providers.

2. SunLife – SunLife is another giant in the Canadian insurance market and is well-known for its life insurance plans. However, they also provide dental plans as group health benefits for employees and individual plans through their subsidiary SunAffinity. To be eligible for their individual dental plans, you need to have provincial health coverage, be under 70 and live anywhere in Canada apart from Quebec.

Their dental coverage plans come in three varieties – basic, standard, and enhanced. All of the plans cover you for up to $750 each year with up to 80 per cent reimbursement depending on the plan you are on. Their enhanced plan also covers orthodontics and restorative care up to a certain amount. 

3. Blue Cross – Blue Cross is a not-for-profit organization that covers over 7 million Canadians every year for healthcare. However, their dental coverage is also quite extensive. Dental insurance is part of their broader healthcare plan. The plans include Elements, Assured Access and Guaranteed Issue. With Elements, you can choose to have optional dental coverage.

Depending on the selected modules of different plans you can also get coverage for fillings, X-rays, root canals and orthodontics. However, the wait times for different modules can range anywhere from a few months to 2 years. So, if you’re planning for orthodontic care this year, you may not be eligible for the coverage till two years after getting the dental plan. 

3. Green Shield Canada – Green Shield is a not-for-profit insurance provider that underwrites dental plans from SureHealth. While there are other not-for-profit insurance providers like the Blue Cross, Green Shield is the only one that’s available in every province and territory. SureHealth individual dental plans come in two types – Link and Zone.

The former is for those whose employee health benefits are about to end or have ended while the latter is for those who haven’t had supplemental health or dental coverage for quite a while. The Zone plan comes with 7 different options to fit the priorities and budgets of different individuals and families. On the other hand, Link plans have bundled dental coverage along with health plans and have guaranteed acceptance.

4. Empire Life – Empire Life offers dental coverage in their group benefit plans for employees. Those plans can be customized by employers including covered services and the range of maximums. Dental coverage ranges from basic dental care to orthodontic services and everything in between. Employers can also offer a Dental Flex option with a predetermined set maximum so that employees can choose their dental benefits according to their needs.

5. Canada Life – Canada Life has both employee group benefits and individual health and dental plans. You can opt for individual or private plans if you’re self-employed. Their individual plan,  PlanDirect, is divided into three types of coverage. The basic plan is called Core and the highest-tier coverage plan is known as Elite. Depending on the coverage, you can get up to 80% reimbursement for endodontic, periodontal, oral surgery and other types of dental care for up to $750 every year. On the other hand, accidental injury to natural teeth gets 100% coverage.

6. Desjardins – Desjardins offers dental coverage as part of their broader health insurance plan and comes with two options – Basic and Enhanced. The Basic plan covers cleanings, exams, fillings, and X-rays while the Enhanced plan adds major dental care, periodontal services, and orthodontics. The reimbursement is also good ranging from 50% to 80%. However, wait times may stretch up to 2 years and coverage applies for procedures and check-ups every 6 to 36 months.

7. GMS – GMS provides both individual and group health and dental plans and the coverage ranges from check-ups, cleanings and X-rays to crowns, root canals, bridges and dental emergencies. You also get an accidental dental coverage plan with a few options that cover up to $5000 for every injury.

For basic and preventative care, the reimbursement is around 80% and that figure goes down to 50% for major procedures. The coverage starts low at around $500 in the first year and gets increased to up to $1000 per year by the third year if you decide to stick with GMS throughout those years. While Desjardins offers similar coverage, it is limited to three provinces. On the other hand, GMS is available everywhere in Canada and you don’t have to switch insurers if you need to relocate due to your job.    


At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you check out the above-mentioned dental coverage plans and choose one that suits your needs. This is especially important if you’re self-employed and aren’t covered by group dental benefits from an employer.