Medical Transportation Benefit

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About this Benefit​  • What My Plan Covers • Meal Rates • COVID-19 Support • How Do I Access Coverage? • Escorts • What My Plan Does Not Cover • Appeals • Client Forms
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​About this B​​enefit

For many First Nations people living in rural or remote areas, it can be challenging to access necessary medical care. Health Benefits offers supports to help with these challenges through the medical transportation (MT) benefit.

Health Benefits works with First Nations communities to deliver the MT benefit. Community Patient Travel Clerks or FNHA Assessors are your connections to help you access your MT benefits.

What My Plan Covers

Your MT benefits provide assistance with the cost of meals, accommodation and transportation to help you travel to a medical appointment outside your community of residence. MT coverage is intended as a supplement and may not cover the full cost of your travel.

You can access medical transportation benefits if you are traveling to:

  • medical services covered by MSP or a public health agency
  • services covered by the Health Benefits Program (eg, dental, vision, etc)
  • traditional healers
  • treatment at a NNADAP funded or referred facility.

MT benefits covers travel to the closes​t appropriate provider, using the most efficient and economical type of transportation appropriate for your needs and medical condition. 

Meal Rates

Meal Rates are increasing. Here are the current rates (as of Oct. 1, 2021):

  • Day Trip Rate (for same-day trips lasting more than 6 hours): $15.10
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  • Overnight Rate (for overnight trips up to 6 nights duration):
    • for clients who are 5 years and older): $60
    • for clients who are 4 years and younger) $25
  • Weekly Rate (for overnight trips of 7 nights or more (including escorts): $236     

COVID-19 Support

Meal Support 

Meal support is available for status First Nations individuals who have been advised by their health care provider to self-isolate because of COVID-19. This support is available between January 12 and December 31, 2021.

To apply:

  1. Complete the Meal Support Funding Calculator. Individuals can apply for themselves and their households using the Individual Meal Support Calculator (Excel file). Communities can apply on behalf of their members using the Community Meal Support Calculator (Excel file)
  2. Email your completed calendar to HB.Eligibility@fnha.ca

Or, call Health Benefits at 1-888-305-1505 (press #2 for the 'other' option, and then #1 for enrolment). This number is supported Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends and statutory holidays from noon to 4:00 p.m. on.

If you are unable to open the funding calculator, email COVID19needs@fnha.ca  

Alternative Accommodation

Alternative accommodation support is available for people who cannot self-isolate at home, including meals and travel. Effective dates for these supports are between January 12 and December 31, 2021.

Call 1-888-305-1505 if you have been advised to self-isolate and need support to cover meals and accommodation expenses. Service hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.​

How Do I Acce​​ss Coverage?

Most clients should contact their community’s Patient Travel Clerk to access medical transportation benefits. If your community does not have a Patient Travel Clerk or you do not know who to contact, call Health Benefits at 1-855-550-5454.​

1. Submit a Medical Transportation Request Form​ at least 5 business days before your trip to get prior approval before travelling. You will also need to submit written confirmation of your appointment from your provider. If you do not get prior approval for your trip, or if you do not submit your request form ahead of time, you may have to reschedule your appointment or pay for your travel costs yourself and then request reimbursement. 

2. Your community Patient Travel Clerk​ makes you travel arrangement and sends you the details. 

3. Attend your appointment as scheduled.

4. After your trip, submit a written confirmation of attendance. You must provide confirmation from your provider that you attended your appointment. If you need to request reimbursement, you will need to submit your written COA with your request. Clients who do not attend their appointment may be asked to pay back the cost of their travel.

If you have any questions about your medical transportation benefits, how to access coverage, or why a claim was denied, call Health Benefits at 1-855-550-5454.

Esco​rts

If you need someone to accompany you on your trip to your appointment, you may be eligible to travel with an escort. Escorts are covered under certain conditions, including if you: 

• are a minor​
• need help with activities of daily living (eg, dressing, eating, or bathing)
• are undergoing a medical procedure (eg, day surgery) or have a medical condition that means you need help to get home
• will face a language barrier
• are travelling to give birth

You may be asked to provide documentation from your health care provider​​​​ to show you need an escort.

What My Plan Does Not ​Cover

Some types of travel are Exclusions. Exclusions cannot be covered as an exception and cannot be appealed. MT benefit Exclusions include, but are not limited to:

  • compassionate travel (eg, travelling to visit a family member who is receiving medical treatment)
  • payment of fees for a doctor’s note
  • travel back to your community of residence if you became sick or injured while away from home
  • travel when the medically-necessary service is available in your community
  • travel to access medical appointments located outside of Canada
  • travel to access services that are not considered medically necessary
  • travel where the only purpose is to pick up items that do not need to be fitted (eg, prescriptions, prescription glasses or contacts and some medical supplies and equipment).

You can call Health Benefits at 1-855-550-5454 to learn more about what is covered. 

Appeal​s

When a coverage request for travel has been denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Items and services that are Exclusions cannot be appealed. See the Appeals page for more information about the appeals process.

Client Forms

The forms below are for clients whose travel is being arranged by Health Benefits. If a Patient Travel clerk is arranging your travel contact them for the appropriate forms.  

Medical Transportation Check List
Medical Transportation Request Form
Medical Transportation Confirmation of Appointment Form
Medical Transportation Escort Form
Medical Transportation Confirmation of Attendance Form

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