Improved Health Benefits for First Nations

The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is set to launch a new health benefits plan that will be more convenient to use and expand benefit coverage in key areas.

On September 16, the FNHA will transition dental, vision, and medical supplies and equipment (MS&E) benefits off the federal Non-Insured Health Benefits program. The FNHA’s new partner, BC-based benefits provider Pacific Blue Cross, will administer these benefits as of this date.

FNHA clients and their health care providers will find the new system easier to use, with fewer requirements for pre-approvals and quicker turnarounds for adjudications and payments. In addition, the new plan will offer improved coverage for many health services, such as teeth cleaning, dentures, eye exams and eyeglasses.

The changes to the plan are based on extensive engagement with clients, their health care providers and First Nations health leaders. The FNHA has led 51 focus groups with 98 communities represented across the  province. Clients and health workers provided feedback on how the benefits plan could be improved. FNHA also asked Health Directors and care providers what needed to change. Discussions with health care providers included education about cultural safety and humility, one of the topics identified as a concern by clients and health leaders.
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