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Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) presents challenges in relation to eligibility, procdeures to address denials and appeals, linkages, programs, and other administrative issues which surround the NIHB Program for First Nations. AFN Resolution 52-2005 "First Nation Contribution to the Blueprint on Aboriginal Health" assigned responsibility to each region to negotiate with First Nation and Inuit Health (FNIH) the components of the Blueprint on Aboriginal Health.
In October, 2010 the Ontario Chiefs Committee on Health (OCCOH) and the Health Coordination Unit (HCU) were successful in engaging two NIHB Navigators under an eighteen month contract. The NIHB Navigators' mandate is to: (1) provide support and advocacy for First Nations community workers, Political Territorial Organizations (PTOs), Independent First Nations (IFNs), Tribal Councils (TCs), and other organizations, when requested; (2) create awaremess of NIHB benefits and how to access them; and (3) strengthen relationships with health care providers, and provincial and federal partners.
The initial contract for the NIHB Navigator program ended in March 2012 leaving a 5 month gap in advocacy and support services due to a funding lapse. With support from the Chiefs Committee on health and the Health Coordination UNit, the NIHB Navigator program was successfully renewed in light of the high needs identified.