Medical transportation benefits for First Nations and Inuit
Learn about how the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program can help with transportation to access health services not available locally.
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About medical transportation benefits
The program may cover your medical transportation costs if you need to travel within Canada for medical care. This benefit covers the travel costs for you to attend medically necessary health services that are unavailable:
- on reserve
- in your community of residence
Medically necessary health services include:
- medical services, defined as insured services by provincial or territorial health plans, such as:
- appointments with physicians
- hospital care
- services covered by provincial or territorial health plans, such as:
- diagnostic tests
- medical treatments
- alcohol, solvent, drug abuse and detox treatments
- traditional healers
- non-insured health benefits, such as:
Medical transportation benefits include:
- travel costs, such as:
- private vehicle
- living expenses, such as meals and accommodations
- emergency transportation, such as ambulance by air or ground
The program provides eligible clients with coverage when it is not available under other federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.
Medical transportation benefits may also be provided for an aide, also known as an escort to travel with you. Coverage for escorts depends on certain requirements being met.
In some cases, the program may cover travel costs to bring health professionals into isolated communities to deliver health services.
How to access medical transportation benefits
Benefit coverage is outlined in the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program Medical Transportation Policy Framework. Prior approval may be required.
You can request coverage for this benefit by contacting your:
- regional office
- local First Nations or Inuit community health centre
Wherever possible, the program works with providers like hotels and airlines so you do not have to pay fees. These providers will bill the program directly.