OTTAWA, June 5, 2018 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, issued the following statement today:
"As Minister of Indigenous Services, I am pleased a settlement agreement has been reached relating to orthodontic coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program.
After a series of appeals under the program and a subsequent court ruling regarding orthodontic coverage for the daughter of Ms. Stacey Shiner, my officials have been able to come to agreement with Ms. Shiner as represented by her counsel to clarify how pain can be considered under clinical evidence. In doing so, her appeal before the Federal Court of Appeal has now been withdrawn.
I am confident that the services Indigenous Services Canada provides are contributing to better oral health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit. The orthodontic coverage under the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program is comprehensive and based on clinical evidence.
Through the NIHB Program, Indigenous Services Canada provides 100% coverage for orthodontic treatment when determined to be medically necessary. Officials from my Department have reviewed Ms. Shiner's concerns and will be implementing a number of revisions to the Non-Insured Health Benefits Orthodontic Policy by June 15, 2018 for the purpose of increasing access for First Nations and Inuit children.
An updated orthodontic policy, which introduces the implementation of the internationally recognized Modified Handicapping Labio-Lingual Deviation Index, will capture cases with severe and functionally handicapping malocclusion associated with pain or discomfort. The Index will be made available July 31, 2018. When a case is denied under this new index and the treating orthodontist strongly believes their case meets the criteria, the treating orthodontist will be able to provide additional clinical dental and medical evidence supporting their case at the appeal level.
Indigenous Services Canada will continue to work with First Nations and Inuit partners as well as health professional associations and experts to improve clarity and transparency of the NIHB Orthodontic Policy.
I firmly believe that the actions we are taking with the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program will result in improved access to orthodontic services for First Nations and Inuit children."
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: media may contact: Rachel Rappaport, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 819-934-2796; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160