Nova Scotia

New Democrats pledge dental coverage for everyone under 18

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says his party would expand dental coverage to include everyone under 18 if his party forms government.

Party says expanding coverage to include kids who are 15, 16 and 17 would cost $2M a year

NDP Leader Gary Burrill speaks to reporters in New Waterford on Monday. (CBC)

The New Democrats are looking to address a little unfinished business.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill announced Monday that if his party wins the provincial election at the end of the month, the NDP will expand dental care coverage for young people up to and including age 17.

The program currently covers people up to age 14. The party estimates the expansion would cost about $2 million a year and bring coverage to an additional 30,000 young people.

In the final months of its mandate in 2013, the former NDP government expanded coverage from age 10 to 14. It had promised to expand it each subsequent year until getting to 17, but lost the election.

The Liberals did not follow through on the plan.

"Dental care is an essential part of keeping our children healthy, but some parents struggle to pay for basic oral health care for their kids as they grow up," Burrill said in a news release.

He made the announcement during a campaign stop in New Waterford on Monday morning, before making his way back to Halifax after spending part of the weekend in Cape Breton.

The NDP plan proposes to cover anyone who does not have private insurance or those that do once they max out their own coverage.

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