The following information was received from NIHB based on an inquiry from our offices. We just received authorization from NIHB to share it publicly.
Thank you for your correspondence dated March 24, 2020 regarding expired status cards and coverage for emergency dental care under Indigenous Services Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program.
The NIHB Program provides clients (registered First Nations and recognized Inuit) with coverage for a range of health benefits, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, dental and vision care, medical supplies and equipment, mental health counselling, and transportation to access health services not available locally.
We understand that some First Nations clients may experience challenges or delays in renewing their status cards at the present time. Please be assured that eligible NIHB clients should not be denied services because their status card has expired. Service providers can still use a client’s status number to verify their eligibility when submitting NIHB claims. NIHB benefit providers (including dentists) will be reminded of this through upcoming Program communications. Providers can call Express Scripts Canada to verify client eligibility for dental, pharmacy and MS&E benefits. For all other benefits, please contact the NIHB regional office to verify client eligibility.
Clients are reminded of the option to apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status through Indigenous Services Canada. More information is available on the Government of Canada website or by calling 1-800-567-9604.
I hope this information has been helpful.
Non-Insured Health Benefits Correspondence Office
Non-Insured Health Benefits Program
First Nations and Inuit Health Branch
NIHB is also posting updates to the COVID 19 situation at https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1578079214611/1578079236012