Dentists in Saskatchewan are concerned that they will be unable to claim insurance compensation if they voluntarily close or reduce their services – unless the government permits it.
Last week, the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan sent a memo to dentists which “recommended” closure or limiting offices to emergencies only. But the group also warned that the company handling most of the TripleGuard insurance plan for dentists in the province – CDSPI – will not pay pandemic insurance unless the government orders a closure.
“At this time, we want to clarify that the recommendations do not qualify as the condition required for TripleGuard Insurance plan coverage,” the college’s memo said. “It must be based on an order from a civil authority or public health official.”
CBC News reported that there are more than 500 dentists in Saskatchewan, though it is unclear exactly how many are covered by CDSPI. Documents obtained by the news outlet suggest that hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake nationally in terms of dental clinic insurance, with policies covering losses of up to $1,000 a day.
When Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced a state of emergency last Wednesday, the government ordered the closure of non-essential facilities such as bingo halls and gyms. All optional hospital tests and procedures were also canceled, but the same cannot be said of dental offices.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to write orders for everything and everyone,” said chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab in an earlier statement.
CDSPI has confirmed that it is in discussions with insurer Aviva Canada over the conditions of the TripleGuard coverage.