Indian Benefits - Idea to Save Canadians Money - Correction can be Fixed by Legislation


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I am a Canadian and a member of a First Nation Band (Qalipu Mik’maq).  I am employed & pay dental premiums to Alberta Blue Cross for dental coverage. Alberta Blue Cross insists, and I found this to be true, that NIHB (Non-Insured Health Benefits) is the "first payer". In other words, my claim for dental benefits, must be paid by the Government first, because I am a Status Indian. The remainder of the claim is then paid by Alberta Blue Cross. The process is long & tedious, when the payment is paid by NIHB any balance left needs to be submitted to Alberta Blue Cross. (remember. I am still paying premiums to Albert Blue Cross). I don't think Canadians realize that our tax dollars are paying for NHIB as the First Payer when the insurance company is receiving premiums from individuals and should by all counts be the first payer.  Instead, Alberta Blue Cross is the 2nd payer. When I researched this I was told that it is this way because the NIHB "program" is not legislated. Legislation needs to be put in place immediately, so Alberta Blue Cross is the first payer; otherwise there should be a reduction on premiums for Indians covered under NIHB.  Canadians should not be supplementing insurance companies. Another unfairness is that NHIB expects that claims be submitted to Alberta Blue Cross first. Fact, ABC rejects the claim because we Indians, have NHIB; and it is only then that applicant (Indian) can submit the claim to NHIB. Because of the obstacles created by not having legislation, First Nation members may decide it is not worth having to jump through the hoops to get benefits and the result is that personal health is compromised. We need new legislation so if u pay premiums, the insurance companies pay the claims "first" & not Gov'mt of Canada aka: the people; the taxpayers; me and you. Another option is that if one pays for insurance premiums for dental benefits one should be excluded from NHIB; this seems to me quite fair. Why should taxpayers pay? Respectfully yours.

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