How to Obtain Dental Coverage Through the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program for First Nations and Inuit

Hand pulling out toothbrush from toothbrush holder

How to Determine If You Are Eligible for NIHB

For First Nations and Inuit people without dental benefits, accessing crucial dental care can be a costly burden.

At Blue Haven Dental, we believe that nobody should have to sacrifice their oral health because they do not have insurance coverage. This is why we proudly accept patients covered by the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program for First Nations and Inuit.

For those who are unfamiliar with this important program, we will explain what exactly it is, how it works, and who is eligible.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is NIHB?

NIHB is a program run by the Canadian federal government that provides eligible First Nations and Inuit patients with coverage for various health benefits that are not covered through other social programs, private insurance plans, or provincial or territorial health insurance.

NIHB currently provides coverage to 873,312 Canadians who identify as Inuit or First Nations.

The services that are covered by NIHB include:

  • Vision care
  • Dental care
  • Mental health counselling
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Medical transportation to access medically required health services not available on reserve or in the community of residence

Dental Services That Are Covered Under NIHB

NIHB covers most oral health procedures that help treat a patient’s dental disease or the effects of dental disease, including:

  • Diagnostic
  • Preventive
  • Restorative
  • Endodontic
  • Periodontal
  • Removable Prosthodontic
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontic
  • Adjunctive

This includes fillings, x-rays, teeth cleaning, root canals, extractions, crowns, and dentures.

Your coverage will be determined on a case-by-case basis based on certain criteria such as your oral health status.

Some services, such as extensive rehabilitation and cosmetic treatment, are not covered by NIHB.

In some cases, the NIHB program will offer extended coverage for eligible dental services required to help resolve dental issues caused by trauma.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for NIHB, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident of Canada
  • Be a First Nations person who is registered under the Indian Act (also referred to as Indian Status)
  • Be Inuk and recognized by an Inuit land claim organization
  • Be a child who is less than 18 months old and whose parent is a registered First Nations person or a recognized Inuk

How to Apply

As long as you meet the above criteria, you are automatically eligible to receive coverage under NIHB. However, it is recommended that you contact the NIHB program to verify that you will be covered before seeking out dental services.

How it Works

At Blue Haven Dental, we are enrolled with the NIHB program, so you will not have to submit any benefit claims yourself. Your dental provider will do this for you.

All you need to do is show up for your appointment and provide your dental office with your client identification information so that they can bill the program directly.

If, by chance, a provider does not offer direct billing, you must pay for the dental services upfront and submit a request to NIHB to be reimbursed. To make your life easier, we do offer direct billing at Blue Haven Dental so we can take care of submitting the claims for you.

Conclusion

At Blue Haven Dental, we are proudly enrolled with NIHB to help ensure that no Inuit or First Nations person has to sacrifice taking care of their oral health due to lack of funds or insurance coverage. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.