How does dental and vision insurance work in 2024?

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Sunny Yadav updated on 29 November 2023

Navigating the landscape of dental and vision insurance in Canada can be a daunting task, especially considering the diverse coverage options available. 

Provincial health plans in Canada often fall short when it comes to dental and vision care, making it essential to explore private insurance solutions. So, let's delve into the specifics of what dental and vision insurance covers in Canada — and how to find the best options. 

Once you know what the best options are, use our free comparator to compare the best dental and vision insurance plans in Canada and get free personalized quotes in seconds, right here.

Dental and Vision Insurance Canada: 5 Key Takeaways

  1. In Canada, provincial health plans lack coverage for dental and vision care.
  2. Notable insurance providers are Manulife, Sun Life, and Canada Life.
  3. Coverage encompasses dental, vision, and broader health services.
  4. Coverage varies based on age, residency, and specific health needs.
  5. Explore options like group plans and high-deductible choices to find affordable plans.

What does dental and vision insurance cover in Canada?

Dental and vision insurance is a type of health insurance that helps pay for the cost of dental and vision care. It is not covered by provincial health insurance plans like the Ontario health insurance plan or MSP in BC for example, so you will need to purchase it separately.

Dental insurance typically covers a variety of services, such as:

  • Preventive care (cleanings, exams, X-rays)
  • Basic restorative care (fillings, extractions, root canals)
  • Major restorative care (crowns, bridges, implants)
  • Orthodontic care

Vision insurance typically covers the cost of eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses. Some plans may also cover the cost of laser eye surgery.

If you are considering getting dental and vision insurance, make sure to compare plans from different providers to find the one that best suits your needs and budget. You should also be aware of the limitations of your plan, such as annual maximums and deductibles.

Use our comparator to compare the best plans, get personalized health, dental, and vision insurance quotes in minutes, and make an informed decision. 


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What is the best dental and vision insurance in Canada? 

Most providers offer health and dental plans and vision care might not be part of the coverage. Also, it can be hard to find standalone dental or vision plans — or a combination — in Canada. You’ll find health and vision insurance plans or just health insurance plans that cover both vision and dental care.

However, here are a few of the most popular ones that offer both dental and vision care coverage as a part of their health insurance plans. Best dental and vision insurance in Canada:

  1. Manulife insurance
  2. Sun Life insurance
  3. Canada Life insurance

Other leading providers like GreenShiled Canada (GSC) and Groud Medical Services (GMC) don’t offer both vision and dental coverage together. Let’s now see what specific coverage these companies offer and what makes them a good choice.

<strong>Dental and vision insurance for seniors</strong>

These plans offer the same benefits as they offer to younger people, but the eligibility for dental and vision insurance for seniors varies depending on the specific plan. Most plans require that seniors be:

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Aged 65 or older

Some plans may also have additional eligibility requirements, such as income thresholds or residency requirements.

Manulife CoverMe® Guaranteed Issue Enhanced Plan

Manulife’s CoverMe® plan offers comprehensive coverage for a wide range of health-related services, including dental and vision.

  • You get 80% coverage on dental care expenses, with a maximum reimbursement of $562 per visit (up to $450 annually).
  • You can receive $200 every 2 benefit years for prescription glasses, contact lenses, and other vision-related expenses (with a 3-month waiting period). 
  • Additionally, the plan provides a maximum of $60 every 2 benefit years for optometrist fees.

This plan also offers Extended Health Care: 80% coverage on expenses up to $625, with a combined yearly maximum of $500 for registered specialists and therapists. This comprehensive coverage includes mental health and therapy services, medical equipment, prosthetics, medical supplies, and more.

Sun Life’s PHI Direct Plans

These plans also cover a wide range of health services. Dental and vision are a part of the coverage.

Here’s a quick overview of Sun Life’s dental insurance plans and their coverage levels:

Plan TypePHI Basic PlanPHI Standard PlanPHI Enhanced Plan
Dental Preventive Care
Reimbursement
60%70%80%
Annual Maximum
$500$750$750
Recall Visits
Every 9 monthsEvery 9 monthsEvery 9 months
Waiting Period
3 months before coverage begins3 months before coverage begins3 months before coverage begins
Restorative Dental Care:
Reimbursement
50%
Annual Maximum
$500
Waiting Period
1 year before coverage begins
Covered Services
Endodontics, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, Crowns, Onlays, Bridges, Dentures (and repairs to dentures)
Orthodontic Care:
Reimbursement
60%
Lifetime Maximum
$1,500
Waiting Period
2 years before coverage begins
Covered Services
- Interceptive, Interventive, or Preventive Orthodontic Services (Excluding Space Maintainers): This category covers early orthodontic interventions designed to prevent or address orthodontic issues.
Sun Life dental insurance coverage

Vision care coverage:

  • 100% reimbursement
  • $150, $200 and $300 maximum every 2 years for each plan respectively, including a $50 maximum per eye exam.

All three plans include coverage for prescription contact lenses, prescription sunglasses prescription eyeglasses, and laser eye surgery.

If you like Sun Life's health coverage, you should get a personalized quote and get an idea of how much you will be spending on its dental and vision insurance. Use our comparator, fill in some basic details, and get quotes in just minutes.


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Canada Life’s Freedom to Choose Plans

Freedom to Choose further has sub-types:

  1. Select
  2. Select Plus
  3. Select Elite

These plans are for people who already have some coverage or lost theirs in the last 2 months.

CoverageSelect Select PlusSelect Elite
Dental – routine services
70% coverage up to $350 per person each calendar year80% coverage up to $750 per person each calendar year Option 1: without dental
Option 2: with dental, 80% coverage up to $1000 per person each calendar year
Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser eye surgery
100% coverage up to $150 per person every 2 years 100% coverage up to $200 per person every 2 years 100% coverage up to $250 per person every 2 years
Canada Life dental and vision insurance coverage

Similarly, people who have no coverage can choose from the following plans:

  • Guaranteed
  • Guaranteed Plus
  • Guaranteed Elite
CoverageGuaranteed Guaranteed PlusGuaranteed Elite
Dental – routine services
80% coverage up to $1,000 per person each calendar year85% coverage up to $2,000 per person each calendar year
Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser eye surgery
Eyeglasses, contact lenses and laser eye surgery100% coverage up to $200 per person every 2 years90% coverage up to $275 per person every 2 years
Eye exam
90% coverage up to $75 for 1 eye exam every 2 years100% coverage for 1 eye exam every 2 years90% coverage for 1 eye exam every 2 years
Canada Life dental and vision insurance coverage

How much does dental and vision insurance cost? 

The cost of dental and vision insurance in Canada varies depending on several factors, including the type of plan you choose, your age, your location, and your overall health needs. 

However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 per month for dental insurance and $10 to $50 per month for vision insurance. But that’s only when you can get just dental and vision coverage. Since most plans offer comprehensive health coverage, the cost gets high.

To save money and get the best deal on dental and vision insurance in Canada, you should compare rates and policies from different providers.

We fetched quotes from the providers we covered in this review, but you should request personalized quotes based on your age and location. It will help you get a better idea of the cost.

You can do it right here, using our comparator, and get personalized dental and vision insurance quotes from leading Canadian companies. 


Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans and Rates on the market!

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How to find affordable dental and vision insurance in Canada?

Here are some tips on how to find affordable dental and vision insurance in Canada:

  1. Compare plans from different providers: You can use a comparison website or talk to an insurance broker to get quotes from different companies.
  2. Consider a group plan: Group plans are often cheaper than individual plans because the employer is able to negotiate a lower rate with the insurance company.
  3. Choose a high-deductible plan: It will have a lower monthly premium, but you will have to pay more out of pocket for your care.
  4. Use your provincial health insurance plan: Provincial health insurance plans in Canada typically cover some basic dental and vision care. For example, they may cover the cost of eye exams for children and seniors. Be sure to check with your provincial health insurance plan to see what is covered.
  5. Consider a dental or vision savings plan: A dental or vision savings plan is a pre-paid plan that allows you to get discounts on dental and vision care. You typically pay a monthly fee for the plan, and then you get discounts on services from participating providers.

Also, there are a number of government programs that can help you afford dental and vision care. These programs are typically based on income and need.

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Sunny has over six years of experience curating engaging content spanning across industries. Specifically in finance, his expertise is insurance reviews and lending and investment topics.

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