Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB)

The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program provides eligible First Nations and Inuit clients with coverage for a range of health benefits, including ostomy supplies, that are not covered through other:

  • social programs
  • private insurance plans
  • provincial or territorial health insurance

To be eligible for benefits under Health Canada’s Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program, you must be a Canadian resident and be:

  • a First Nations person who is registered under the Indian Act (commonly referred to as a status Indian)
  • an Inuk recognized by an Inuit land claim organization
    • Nunavut Land Claim Agreement
    • Inuvialuit Final Agreement
  • a child less than 18 months old whose parent is a registered First Nations person or a recognized Inuk

NIHB provides 100% coverage to eligible clients for ostomy supplies. Medical travel expenses are also covered. To access benefit coverage, show your health care provider your client identification to confirm your eligibility with the program. Coverage is available only for ostomy supplies obtained in Canada.

Ostomy supplies covered by the NIHB Program require prior approval and a prescription from an eligible prescriber. A medical doctor, nurse, NSWOC is licensed to prescribe ostomy supplies, while an RN, LPN/RPN can prescribe annual ostomy supply renewals only.

NIHB covers a comprehensive list of ostomy supplies:

  • One and two-piece ostomy appliances
  • Ostomy Pouches, drainable, closed, & urostomy
  • Skin Barrier Wafers / Flanges: flat, convex
  • Ostomy accessories include skin barrier rings/sheets/seals, skin barrier paste/strips, convex inserts, filters, barrier powder, absorbent flakes/capsules, lubricant gel
  • Odour control
  • Ostomy irrigation kits, sleeves
  • Ostomy belt
  • Pouch cover
  • A wide range of incontinence products: diapers, liners, underpads

For a complete list of ostomy products covered by NIHB, please visit this website: https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1590168766044/1590168799917#s13-3

NIHB covers a particular quantity of ostomy supplies, and orders should be placed every three months. For instance, you are limited to 30 drainable ostomy bags every three months. A health care professional can provide a letter of exemption and prescription if you require extra ostomy supplies for medical reasons. Exceptions are items that are not listed in the NIHB medical supplies and equipment benefit list. These may be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, products that are not covered, like high output ostomy bags, or a larger quantity of a product is needed than covered may be approved for an exception.

Many ostomy supply vendors such as home health stores and pharmacies can direct bill NIHB, so please speak with a medical professional such as an NSWOC for options.

Ostomy vendors are encouraged to bill the NIHB Program directly so that you do not have to pay for services when receiving health care goods or services; however, you may be required to pay up front and be reimbursed later.If you have paid directly for goods or services, you may seek reimbursement from the NIHB Program within one year from the date of service and/or date of purchase. To be reimbursed, the service or item must be listed with the NIHB Program. All requests for reimbursement of eligible NIHB benefits must include the original receipts; and a copy of the prescription. Ostomy supply claims are processed through Express Scripts. Please visit their website to create an account and submit your claims online.

Contact Information:

NON-INSURED HEALTH BENEFITS PROGRAM

Address locator: 1909AOttawa, ON K1A 0K9

Email: sac.nihb-ssna.isc@canada.ca

Please visit for regional contact information:

Main website:

Disclaimer: The information contained in this page have been researched and sourced from a variety of provincial and federal sites. However information may change and we encourage individuals to check for updates of policies, plans and forms.
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