What Is a Nihb?
The Non-Insured Health Benefits Plan provides medically necessary coverage to eligible First Nations and Inuit individuals in Canada. Coverage is provided for medical and dental care, prescriptions, disability income, home care and occupational health insurance. Eligible individuals can apply online to become a member. The cost of the plan is paid by the government. However, there are certain conditions that one must meet in order to be eligible.
Income requirements vary from program to program. There is also an income limit for the nihb program for inuit and aboriginals. First Nations and Inuit dependents who are under the age of eighteen can apply for the nihb program. However, parents must provide proof of their relationship to a deceased Inuit or First Nation member. Proof of income and residential status are required for most programs. Students who are Canadian residents in fall out of the nihb program are eligible for financial assistance through federal loans and bursaries.
If you are employed and receiving income support as an employee, the monthly nihb contribution towards your health benefits is tax-deductible. For self-employed individuals and nihb participants in the Canadian Employment Program, the contribution towards nihb premiums is taxable. Certain prescribed medical services, dental services, prescriptions and dental procedures are excluded from coverage. Certain benefits, such as long-term health care and disability income, are not taxable.
Inuit communities offer several health plans including health maintenance organizations, health plans, family services programs, and individual and family plans. Some First Nations communities have been provided funds to develop and introduce basic health plans that are available to all inuit and aboriginals. Over the last few years, many First Nations and Inuit communities have expanded their nihb programs. However, there is still need for improvement.
Many Inuit families have managed to obtain nihb policies with limited cover. These nihb policies usually cover only emergency medical expenses and may offer coverage for a few days after an accident or illness. A small number of First Nations and Inuit nihb plans provide coverage for prescription drugs, though the prescription drug benefit is usually very limited. When purchasing a nihb policy, you must understand the health benefits included and the premium and cost-coverage amounts applicable to you and your family. It’s important to shop around for a good price on a nihb policy that meets all your needs.
Choosing the right nihb policy takes time. You’ll want to research several companies, conduct personal research, and meet with insurance agents to discuss your family’s needs and wants. You’ll also need to know what kind of coverage best suits your budget and your family’s medical circumstances. The goal of purchasing a nihb policy is to find the most protection for the most reasonable premium.
Some people are under the impression that purchasing an nihb plan from an Inuit based company means that they’ll be paying higher premiums than with a larger US based insurance company. While this may be true in some situations, Inuit health insurance premiums tend to be lower than those for both US and Canadian insurance companies. When comparing rates, be sure to compare not just the premiums of the individual plans, but the nihb policy as a whole. Remember that the cost of purchasing an nihb plan will include monthly premiums, administration costs, and the nihb deductible. Also keep in mind that different insurance companies sometimes offer different discounts for various items and qualifications.
Once you’ve decided which nihb plans will best suit your needs, it’s time to purchase! When shopping for health insurance, be sure to choose a reputable and reliable company. Read all of the fine print carefully and talk with a live agent. Make sure the policy comes with plenty of coverage. And always remember that you’re paying for peace of mind – don’t overspend!