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NIHB COVID-19 Pandemic Update

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

It remains the priority of the Ontario Region Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program to ensure service delivery to our clients and service providers to the best of our ability during this exceptional time.

Please be assured that advance business continuity planning was undertaken to anticipate and plan for challenges that could result from COVID-19. This bulletin will serve as an operational update regarding the steps that have been taken to ensure continued service. Where operationally possible, NIHB staff are working to deliver service from remote locations. Where required, some limited staff continue to access the workplace to assist with scanning of hard-copy documents and to assist remote workers with accessing material to continue their work functions.

Phone messaging on NIHB phone lines has been updated to provide clients and service providers with alternative options for contacting all three NIHB offices (Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout).

Toll-free telephone lines continue to be answered. Functions surrounding the prior approval of non-insured health benefits and the payment of vendor invoices continue. Best attempts are being made to process requests in a timely manner, however we ask for and appreciate your patience should delays occur.

NIHB medical transportation Benefit Analysts are taking instruction from health-care professionals and clients to cancel or reschedule medical travel. NIHB is not restricting patient travel; we do recommend however that individuals consult their health-care professional or community health team if they have questions regarding whether they should or should not travel to medical appointments.

For more information, please call one of the FNIHB Ontario Region NIHB contacts:

Heather Larsen Senior Manager, Program Delivery Ontario Regional Office

Patricia Villeneuve A/Manager, NIHB Operations Ontario Regional Office

Jeanet Pierce Supervisor, Sioux Lookout

Shelley Hakala Supervisor, Thunder Bay Zone

Ontario Region Client Information Line: 1-800-640-0642

Toll-Free Fax Ottawa: 1-800-806-6662

Thunder Bay: 1-866-551-5650

Sioux Lookout: 1-807-7373879

Previous information bulletins and additional information and resources for health staff can be found at

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