Health > NIHB Processing
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The NIHB Processing Program at the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Health Centre is responsible for processing Non-Insured Health Service claims for community and Band members. This process involves submitting medical appointment travel, mileage, meal & accommodation requests to FNIHB, and making travel arrangements for clients with travel agencies, hotels, airlines and bus lines. Front office staff are also responsible for answering the telephone, booking local travel trips, and booking appointments for visiting specialist clinics.

The Health Clerk/Receptionist at the Health Centre is responsible for carrying out all the duties associated with processing NIHB Claims for the community and Band members, including data input and submission, invoice processing, receipt and documentation of client information, maintenance of client files and various other clerical/office duties.

Please contact the front reception by calling (807)229-1836 Ext 601 for more information or submit your claim.

The Non-Insured Health Benefit program (NIHB) is designed to help First Nation members with their health care needs.  The NIHB program is also designed to help First Nations:

  • Maintain their health
  • Prevent disease
  • Detect and manage illnesses, injuries and disabilities

The NIHB program provides coverage for a limited range of medically necessary goods and services to registered First Nation members.  It may repay some or all of the costs incurred when health care programs, products or services are purchased.  This includes a range of medical, dental and pharmacy services eligible First Nations members may need.

The benefits and services of the NIHB program are often coordinated with other insured health care programs offered in Ontario.

The NIHB program provides benefit coverage for approximately 176,400 First Nations people in Ontario.  These benefits include:

  • Drugs
  • Dental
  • Medical Supplies & Equipment
  • Medical Transportation
  • Eye & Vision Care
  • Short-term Crisis Intervention Mental Health Counselling
  • Health Benefits Outside of Canada
  • Chiropractic Care

(Information obtained from:  A Guide for First Nations in Ontario:  Navigating the Non-Insured Health Benefits & Ontario Health Programs Benefits, pg. 2)

This is a list of important contact numbers to assist you with any questions you may have regarding benefit coverage and general inquiries:

Questions regarding a Medical Item, Supply and Service under NIHB program:

1-800-640-0642 or visit

Questions regarding Medical Transportation:     1-877-779-7749

Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program:   1-888-789-4199 or visit

Ontario Drug Benefit:  1-866-532-3161 

Ontario Assistive Devices Program:  1-800-268-6021

Northern Health Travel Grant:   1-800-461-4006

                                                     or visit


FNIHB Transportation
The FNIHB Thunder Bay Zone Office is requiring at least a 1 to 2 week notice to process applications. Community members are reminded that the front office processes 70-80 requests for travel to medical appointments per month. Please get your request for travel as soon as you are aware of your appointments. If you received an appointment card or letter from the doctor’s office please bring it in, it would speed the application process up a bit. FNIHB asks that I contact the doctor’s office to confirm over the phone appointments. When you do contact the Health Centre, please have the following information:
1. Your full name
2. Your date of birth
3. Your complete address and telephone and fax number (if available)
4. Your 10 digit status registration number
5. The date and time of your appointment
6. The doctor’s name and their specialty
7. And the name off the referring doctor
(For out of town dentist appointment you must have a letter from the Marathon Dentist or Doctor stating you must travel out of town for this procedure)
The above information will be provided to the Thunder Bay Zone Office, who will provide a Prior Approval Number for the needed benefits.
Medical Escort Letters
Medical escorts, either a physician or registered nurse, may be approved in cases which involve a client with a health condition where monitoring and/or stabilization are required during travel.
Traditional Healers
(8.1) Medical transportation benefits, within the client's region/territory of residence, may be provided for clients to travel to see a traditional healer or, where economical, for a traditional healer to travel to the community.
(8.5) The NIHB Program does not pay for any associated honoraria, ceremonial expenses or medicines. These costs remain the sole responsibility of the client.
If wanting to apply for a meal reimbursement please bring in your hotel invoice and confirmation letter when you return from your appointment. This will speed up the process instead of me having to request the hotel to fax it to me.
There is an extremely high volume of reimbursements being received by Thunder Bay Zone Office and due to the change over in system that was implemented April 1, 2007 community members can expect to wait 4 – 6 months for their reimbursements, please understand these delays are happening at the Thunder Bay office and not due to delays in processing by our staff.
Northern Travel Grant Program
Community member are to be aware that you are not to claim mileage through the non-insured health program if deciding to use a Northern Travel Grant. And a Northern Travel Grant can’t be used when a bus ticket has been purchased through the non- insured health program.
FNIHB Transportation