A Guide to NWT Health Plan

All NWT residents that are eligible should register for the NWT Health Card. It is necessary to have a card when visiting a health centre, hospital, or doctor's office.
    Dempster Highway Northwest Territory Landscape Image

    Free Healthcare Coverage in NWT

    Every permanent NWT resident should apply for health or medical care coverage. Residents are eligible if;

    • They're lawfully entitled to remain or be in Canada, and;
    • They're ordinarily present or make their home in NWT. In this case, ordinarily present means a resident is physically present in the territory not less than 153 days every calendar year.

    Note: You need to be 19 years and above to apply. The Health Services Administration Office might accept an application if you're 16 years and can prove you reside permanently and alone in NWT.

    The following groups of individuals shouldn't apply for the NWT Health Care Card;

    Inmates of the Federal Penitentiary
    Canadian Armed Forces members

    Those that have come to NWT for work on a short-term stint (under 12 months) should also not apply for the NWT Health Care because chances are high you'll return to your territory or home province within the year. If you'll need to visit a health centre or hospital or consult a doctor while in NWT, the health care card from your territory or home province is acceptable and it'll be unnecessary to pay for the needed services upfront.

    Coverage When Travelling in Canada and Outside of Canada

    It is necessary to inform the Health Services Administration Office if you intend to travel outside the NWT for over 90 days. You can do this by submitting a Temporary Absence Form. The notification is handy at preventing any form of delays in the payment of any medical services that might be necessary while you're temporarily out of the country or territory.

    The following documents should be attached to the Temporary Absence Form anytime you're outside the NWT temporarily because you are:

    • A snowbird – Snowbirds that leave the territory for extended winter vacations should submit a copy of their most recent income tax form. Additionally, you need to provide a statutory declaration that affirms you're an NWT resident.
    • A high-performance athlete – If you are a high-performance athlete that is training outside the territory, you should submit documentation indicating you've received a grant from the High-Performance Athlete Program of the territory. Additionally, you should provide a letter from the National Sporting Association certified coach or National Sporting Organisation coach.
    • An out-of-territory student – Do you intend to go to a post-secondary school outside the NWT? You need to submit documentation indicating your full-time enrollment as noted by the school.

    For residents of NWT that are travelling outside the country, the cost of medically-necessary services for sudden or emergency illness is reimbursed at the NWT rates (only in CAD). It is your obligation to pay for the difference between the amount reimbursed and the amount charged.

    The difference can be considerable. Consequently, it is prudent to have travel insurance when outside the country.

    For NWT residents going outside the territory but within the country, the cost of the medically-necessary services received from a hospital or doctor in Canada is covered. Nonetheless, things such as medevacs or ground ambulances aren't covered. For this reason, it is wise to get travel insurance if travelling outside the territory.

    What happens if you move outside the NWT? When you move outside the territory to reside permanently in another region but within Canada, you'll continue to enjoy coverage for all medically necessary services for 3 months after you've left NWT. It is your obligation to register in your new territory/province within one month of arrival to prevent any interruptions in your healthcare coverage.

    If you move outside the country, the coverage ends on your departure date from the NWT. Inform the Health Services Administration Office when moving from the territory permanently.

    If you recently moved to the NWT from other parts of Canada, you'll become eligible for the health care card NWT on the maiden day of the 3rd month immediately after the month you became an NWT resident. For instance, if you arrive on 4th July, you'll become eligible for coverage on 1st October.

    If you have any questions concerning your travel out of the territory, whether temporarily or permanently, it is prudent to contact the Health Services Administration Office.

    Applying for A NWT Health Card

    Any permanent Northwest Territories resident can apply for an NWT Health Card. Residents are eligible if they're entitled to remain or be in Canada lawfully. Secondly, you're eligible for applying for the card if you make your home in and are normally present in the Northwest Territories.

    You can apply for the NWT health care coverage by completing and submitting the NWT Application for Health Care form. Application is done through three main ways;

    How to Apply in Person

    You can apply for the healthcare card in person by sending a mail to this address;

    • Health Services Administration Office
    • Health and Social Services
    • Bag #9
    • Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0

    How To Apply Online

    Residents can apply for the NWT Health card online using the eServices. You can also apply for the card by sending an email to healthcarecard@gov.nt.ca.

    Note: If applicable, ensure you provide all the necessary documentation indicating you're Métis, First Nations, Inuit, or Inuvialuit. These documents are an indication of your legal right to be Canadian.

    Forms and Documentation Required

    Here are the forms and documentation required;

    For Canadian Citizens;
    • A copy of a birth certificate from a territory or province in Canada
    • A copy of a valid Canadian Citizenship Certificate or Canadian Passport, or
    • A copy of Indigenous Services Canada-issued status card
    For Landed Immigrants/Permanent Residents
    • A copy of the Permanent Resident Card (back and front)
    For Foreign Nationals
    • A copy of the Study Permit (It is necessary to present confirmation of school enrollment)
    • A copy of the Work Permit or any other document (s) issued by Immigration Canada

    When it comes to residency, you need to provide valid documents that indicate your name as well as your current NWT home address. On top of the documents listed, other Government-issued documents to be considered (include but not limited to);

    • Child Tax Benefit Statement
    • Insurance policies (auto, home, etc.)
    • Canada Pension Plan Statement
    • Employment Insurance Benefit Statement

    Note: Make sure that the name on all your supporting documents matches the name on your application. If you've recently moved to the NWT and have plans of residing here for over a year but can't obtain two documents from the list, you need to contact the Health Services Administration Office via phone - at 1-800-661-0830 (toll-free) or email - healthcarecard@gov.nt.ca.

    When it comes to forms, you can get the NWT Application Health Care forms at the eServices Portal. PDF forms are also available at health centres, health clinics, hospitals as well as the Health Services Administration Office.

    Renewing or Replacing Your NWT Health Card

    If your NWT Health Card has expired, you can renew it stress-free. Replacement for lost or damaged cards is equally a breeze.

    Renewing Your Health Card

    So when does it become necessary to renew your card? Renewal can be done in any of these scenarios;

    • After a lapse of three years using the card
    • If the healthcare card expires on our birthdate
    • If the expiry date at the bottom right-hand corner is due

    Note: It is your responsibility to renew your card. This can be completed four months prior to the expiry date. For those with a Temporary Absence Form on file, the NWT Health Care Card Renewal Form is acceptable.

    Your card cannot be renewed unless the completed renewal form is received. If the card is expired for over one year, then you'll need to submit a brand new application for the card coupled with proof that you are a resident of the NWT.

    Have you sent your renewal form but haven't received a new card in the mail? If yes, then the staff will verify that your registration is updated if you require services at an NWT health centre or hospital.

    If you have any questions regarding card renewal, check the FAQs on Health Care Card Renewal.

    Replacing Your Health Card

    If you've damaged or lost your card, contact the Health Services Administration Office and make a request for a new card. Filling out a form, in this case, isn't necessary. Upon verification of your identity, the Health Administration Office issues a new card via mail.

    You don't need to pay for anything to have your card replaced. The Health Services Administration Office takes care of everything.

    Changing Your Address On Your Health Card

    You'll need to update the information on your health card if you change your;

    • Indigenous status
    • Immigration or citizenship status
    • Gender
    • Phone number
    • Address
    • Name

    Note: In case you change any of the above, you must notify your Health Services Administration regarding the changes to personal information to avoid any disruption to your coverage.

    To change the address information on your card, complete and submit this form. The change form is always available at the Health Services Administration Office. You'll need to have a valid NWT Health Care Card to effect the changes.

    NWT Health Plan Coverage Details

    The NWT Health Plan covers basic medical and hospital treatment. Anyone with a binding NWT Health Care Card can receive treatment in an NWT medical clinic, health centre, or hospital and won't have to pay for the medically-necessary health services.

    Here's what is covered by NWT Health Plan (registration is necessary to receive these services);

    • Meals and accommodation at a standard ward care
    • Laboratory, diagnostic and X-ray procedures, and interpretation
    • Nursing services when offered at the hospital
    • All physician-prescribed drugs and administered in the hospital
    • The use of anaesthetic facilities, case room, and operating room needed for diagnosis and treatment including necessary supplies and equipment
    • Radiotherapy treatment, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy when offered by an insured institution
    • Detoxification services provided in approved health facilities

    Other restrictions and limitations might apply.

    bottles of medications

    Prescription Drugs

    Prescription Drug costs

    The NWT Health Care Plan only covers prescription drugs if prescribed by a doctor and administered in a hospital. Nevertheless, prescription drugs might be covered for eligible expenditures under the Metis Health Benefits as well as Extended Health Benefits.

    high school students and teacher

    Seniors Benefits

    The GNWT sponsors a senior's program tailored to offer eligible NWT residents of ages 60 and above access to an array of benefits not covered by medical and hospital insurance. Through the program, senior citizens receive coverage for eligible dental services, prescription drugs, medical equipment, and supplies as well as vision care. Seniors also get benefits touching on medical travel like ambulance services, travel, accommodation, and meals.

    To enjoy the benefits of the extended program for seniors, anyone of age 60 and above should apply for the Extended Health Benefits for Seniors Program.

    Note: Comparable coverage touching on seniors is offered to indigenous Metis residents of NWT via the Metis Health Benefits Program. It is available to First Nations and Inuit NWT residents via the Indigenous Services Canada's NIHB program.

    What Is and Isn't Covered under NWT Health Plan

    Certain services offered by the health professionals aren't covered in the plan. Furthermore, the plan does not offer coverage for extended benefits such as medical supplies, dental services, eyeglasses, and medicine from a drugstore.

    Nonetheless, extended health benefits might be available through;

    • Your employer (you need to contact your employer for information)
    • Extended Health Benefits programs provided by the Government of NWT such as Metis Health Benefits Program, Specified Disease Conditions Program, Seniors Program, or
    • Non-Insured Health Benefits Program for First Nations and Inuit provided by the Federal Government.

    If ineligible for these programs, some private insurance companies might provide coverage for any extended health benefits service.

    The services not covered in the plan include;

    • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation, unless prior approved
    • Dental services other than the specific procedures touching on jaw disease or injury
    • Ambulance charges with the exception of inter-hospital transfers
    • All services not considered experimental
    • All services not medically necessary such as cosmetic surgery
    • All hospital charges over the standard ward rate from semi-private or private accommodation

    If you need more information on what's covered and what is not covered, then contact the Health Services Administration.

    Extended NWT Health Coverage Plans

    NWT Health also provides extended health benefits to Metis and non-aboriginal residents for certain diseases. Coverage is entirely for medical equipment/supplies and prescription drugs. Through the Extended Health Benefits program, the GNWT offers extended benefits for conditions with particular benefits not provided by medical care and hospital insurance.

    The program provides coverage for eligible medical equipment and supplies as well as prescription drugs. You can also enjoy benefits touching on medical travel like accommodation and meals. For more information on extended health benefits.

    blue triangle linear accent
    yellow circle dots grid accent
    Find the best private health insurance with Insurdinary
    Receive personalized quotes from Canada’s top insurance companies directly in your inbox. Compare health coverage and find the right insurance for your needs in minutes.
    Get Some Quotes
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram