• Access for First Nations individuals to the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
Sep 23, 2015

As you may know, through the Non-insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program, eligible clients may access a range of health related benefits including a specified range of drugs, dental care, vision care, medical supplies and equipment, short-term crisis intervention mental health counselling  and medical transportation. To  be eligible  for NIHB Program benefits, a First Nations person must be registered under the Indian Act with Aboriginal Affairs and Northem Development Canada (AANDC).


A report on "Access to Health Services for Remote First Nations Communities," tabled as part of the spring 2015 report of the Auditor General of Canada, identified that sorne First Nations individuals had not registered and therefore may not be able to access benefits under the NIHB Program.


In order to allow parents time to register their children, infants up to the age of one may access NIHB benefits under a parent who is NIHB eligible.  However, after the child's first birthday, registration is required to ensure continued eligibility for NIHB benefits.


Registering is an individual choice; however, Health Canada wants to raise awareness of the importance of registration to ensure access to benefits under the NIHB Program.


Parents can obtain information about the registration process at Health facilities. We have included a copy of the AANDC registration documents. The application forms are also available on the internet.


The brochure, "Are you eligible?" is also a useful resource.


We  strongly  encourage  you  to display  these  materials  in  areas  where  they  are visible  and accessible to clients, including any prenatal programs.


If you have any questions, you can contact AANDC's  regional office at 1-800-567-9604 1-819-953-0960 or the Quebec Regional Office ofHealth Canada at 1-877-483-1575 1-514-283-1575.