The Department of Health says it worries private employers who currently provide dental coverage for most Canadians nationwide will offload costs onto taxpayers as cabinet expands its national dentacare program. “It is something that we are concerned about,” the head of the department’s dental task force yesterday told the Senate social affairs committee.

“Certainly we are looking at ways to make sure those who currently provide coverage will continue to do so,” testified Lindy Van Amburg, director general of the task force. “I would say however we will need to be very careful about what the levers are.”

Bill C-47 the Budget Implementation Act includes a clause mandating that all employers with dental coverage report the fact to the Canada Revenue Agency effective December 31 under threat of $100 fines. Van Amburg said it was a data collection exercise.

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