Medical Transportation Benefit

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

​​​​​​​November 2023 Weekly Meal Rate Increase​​​

First Nations Health Benefits and Services (FNHBS) is committed to improving the quality and responsiveness of its programs and services to support First Nations people in their health and wellness journeys.

On November 1, 2023, FNHBS is increasing the meal rates for stays over six nights that include an escort. Clients and their approved escort will now receive $425 per week for meals. This represents a 50% increase from the previous combined rate of $283 per week, which covered both the Client and the escort. Learn more here​.​


​​​​Tempora​ry Mileage​ Ra​​t​e Increase

FNHBS actively monitors gas prices across British Columbia to ensure that chang​es do not impact Clients' ability to access medically necessary appointments ​when using their private vehicles. 

The temporary Medical Transportation mileage rate of $0.29/km will be extended until March 31, 2024. ​​​​Learn more here.

​About this B​​enefit

For many First Nations people, especially those living in rural or remote areas, it can be challenging to access necessary medical care. Health Benefits offers support 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.​ A Medical Transportation factsheet is available here​​.

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 acces​s medical transportation benefits if you are traveling to:

  • ​Medical services covered by MSP or a public health agency;
  • Services eligible under the Health Benefits Program (e.g., dental, vision, etc.);
  • Traditional healers; or
  • ​​Treatment at an FNHA funded facility for substance use (formerly NNADAP).

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

Meal Rates

Effective November 1, 2023, meal rates will change as reflected in the table below:​​

​​​​​Fee Sched​​​ule for Meal Rates ​​​
Daily rate for same-day travel over six hours
$17.00 per person​
Nightly Rate for short-term travel up to 6 nights
$68.00 per night per person five years old and over
$29.00 per night per person under five years old
Weekly Rate for overnight trips of seven nights or more
$283.00 per week per Client
$425.00 per week per Client and approved escort* 

​*Note: The rate of $425 per week is an inclusive rate for the Client and escort and applies only when the Client is an outpatient. An approved escort supporting a Client in the hospital will continue to access the weekly meal rate of $283 per week.​


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 (e.g., dressing, eating, or bathing);
  • Are undergoing a medical procedure (e.g., day surgery) or have a medical condition that means you need help to get home;
  • Will face a language barrier; or
  • Are travelling to give birth.

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

​​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 commun​​ity Patient Travel Clerk will make your travel arrangements and sends you the details. 

  3. Atte​nd your ​​appointment as scheduled.

  4. ​After you​r trip, submit a written confirmation of attendance (COA)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.

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 (e.g., 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 become 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; or
  • Travel where the only purpose is to pick up items that do not need to be fitted (e.g., 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. 


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 Ap​peals page for more information about the appeals process.

Client F​​orms

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 Checklist
Medical Transportation Request Form
Medical Transportation Confirmation of Appointment Form
Medical Transportation Escort Form
Medical Transportation Confirmation of Attendance Form

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