Ontario Dental Fee Guide up 4.6% for 2021

Each year the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) sets their dental fee guide for the coming year. This guide is used by many dentists to set their prices (though they can charge above or below this). Insurers tend to use these numbers as the “reasonable & customary” limitation for claims.

Last year the Ontario average increase was 1.27% and this year the increase has jumped 4.6% higher. The average over that the past decade has been about 2.2% per year, so this is much higher than normal increase and is in good part due to COVID expenses.

What this means to employers is that if your employees submitted the exact same claims this year, as they did last year, then the cost charged in 2021 would be 4.6% higher. In reality, there are also trend and utilization numbers that are added (because we don’t really do the same thing every year, we tend to do more, and higher cost treatments), so the end result is even higher.

Depending on your renewal date, many clients may not see this affect rates until much later in the year (or even next year) and depending on the utilization of dental services, we may see the cost of claims rise, while the number decreases. That could result in premium costs staying stable.  Time will tell.