For the first time in over 25 years, changes have been made to the eligibility criteria for Métis Health Benefits.
Now applicants will no longer need to provide proof that they are not eligible for coverage under the federal Non-Insured Health Benefits Program.
Instead, they are asked to self-identify as Métis and be a member of an Indigenous government or Indigenous organization in the NWT whose members hold Aboriginal rights.
Minister of Health and Social Services Julie Green says the change was made because the policy was no longer aligned with current needs and realities.
“The updated policy ensures Métis can continue to access non-insured health benefits through appropriate programs,” she adds.
Green says the GNWT had heard concerns about the administrative practice for determining the ‘payor of last resort’ eligibility criteria.
‘This change is a more respectful way of determining eligibility criteria for the Métis Health Benefits Policy and aligns with principles of self-determination identified in the United Nations Declaration,” she adds.
Green says the GNWT engaged Indigenous Governments and organizations with Métis members for feedback in making changes to the policy.
The updated policy is still the payor of last resort, meaning that if other insurance plans are available, those plans must be used first.