Did you know about these health benefits? (BC Edition)

January 31, 2023

In British Columbia, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) delivers health programs to First Nations people. If you’re eligible, you should be getting everything that you need and qualify for! What might you and your family be missing out on?

Here are some examples:

  • Counselling, including in some cases for people without status who have been impacted by residential schools or missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. More information and a list of providers is available here.
  • Get access to a video call with a doctor seven days a week through the Virtual Doctor of the Day program.
  • If you have status, but your baby doesn’t have their registration completed yet, they can still get coverage up to 24 months of age (two years old).
  • Ambulance invoices are covered
  • Medical Supplies and Equipment including foot orthotics and orthopedic shoes, hearing aids and repairs, walking aids and wheelchairs, and CPAP machines
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medication like Tylenol and Advil are covered and may not need a prescription. Here’s the list for OTC medications that are covered.
  • Supplies for diabetes, including insulin pumps and lancets and needles and syringes
  • Intrauterine devices for birth control (IUDs)
  • If there are wildfires in your area, you may be eligible for an air purifier through your Nation to help vulnerable people manage the smoke in the air
  • Medical transportation benefits, including to traditional healers and addiction treatment centers

Beware of hoops to jump through, like times when providers can’t “direct bill” Pacific Blue Cross, times when medical transportation needs to be arranged through the health office at your Nation, and times when a specific item or service needs to be approved in advance. It’s best to contact Health Benefits toll free at 1-855-550-5454 to ask questions, or contact your Nation for more guidance.

By: Emily Peiffer, Articled Student