An update from NIHB Atlantic – COVID-19
Earlier this week, as a public health measure to minimize the threat of COVID-19, Indigenous Services Canada began providing essential services only to Canadians. The Non-Insured Health Benefits Program is continuing to provide benefits and services while adhering to public health guidance and the advice of health professionals.
Consequently, the Atlantic office of NIHB will be operating remotely and with limited staff to triage urgent requests. Anyone with requests or questions related to Medical Transportation, Medical Supplies and Equipment, Mental Health Counseling, or Vision Care are encouraged, to send an email (in lieu of fax or telephoning) to email@example.com so that the phone lines can be kept open for urgent requests. Clients and providers may also call the NIHB Atlantic toll-free line at 1-800-565-3294, where callers will be instructed to leave a voice mail that will be actioned in order of priority Monday to Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm. Please note, callers may experience technical difficulties due to intermittent system overload, and wait times may be longer than usual.
The NIHB Drug Exception Centre and the Dental Predetermination Centre also continue to operate and receive calls from providers and clients.
- for Dental requests or claims, call the national Dental Predetermination Centre at 1-855-618-6291
- for Pharmacy and Drug requests, call the national Drug Exception Centre at 1-800-580-0950
- for any claims issues related to MS&E, providers please call Express Scripts at 1-888-511-4666
Please be aware that telehealth is a viable and potentially preferable option for Mental Health Counseling under these circumstances.
NIHB is also taking the following actions to support clients and prioritize health and safety during the pandemic:
ü Encouraging clients to consult with their health service provider and consider postponing routine, non-urgent appointments
ü Reaching out to Mental Health service providers to ask them to consider counselling clients via telephone (tele-mental health services by eligible providers are covered by the NIHB program).
ü Supporting vulnerable clients by prioritizing private modes of transportation and accommodations where
ü Offering additional guidance and support to external service providers for infection prevention/control.
A Program Update was posted on the web earlier today and can be found here: www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1578079214611/1578079236012#mars-20-a
As the situation evolves, we will share any further updates or changes to NIHB operations with you. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this challenging time.
Non-Insured Health Benefits
1-800-565-3294 / ATLNIHB@HC-SC.GC.CA