Better Business Bureau

NWT Health Care Plan: Summary of Benefits

The Northwest Territories provides government health care called the NWT Health Care Plan. It is available to all NWT residents, and the following is a summary of coverage and benefits.

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Physician Services

The following physician services are insured:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of illness/injury as well as surgery and anesthetics when needed.
  • Surgery when medically necessary.
  • Obstetrical care (includes pre-natal and post-natal care).
  • Eye examinations, treatment and procedures provided by an ophthalmologist ONLY.

The following physician services are not insured:

  • General examinations (e.g. physical exams) and examinations requested by third parties.
  • All cosmetic procedures.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Experimental procedures.
  • Optometrists.
  • Routine dental services (e.g. cleanings, exams, extractions and fillings).
  • Paramedical services such as chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopaths, podiatrists and osteopaths.
  • Eye glasses not covered (unless you are a: senior aged 60 and up, or; are a Metis who qualifies for the Métis Health Benefits program.

Hospital Services

The following services/benefits provided in a hospital are insured:

  • Accommodation and meals (standard ward only).
  • Nursing services within the hospital.
  • Diagnostic services, i.e. x-rays, laboratory work and interpretive services.
  • Prescription drugs that are administered in a hospital and have been prescribed by a doctor.
  • Radiotherapy treatment, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
  • Detoxification services provided by any government approved healthcare facility.
  • Use of operating room, anesthetics and medical equipment.

Services that are not covered in a hospital include:

  • Semi-private and private rooms (standard ward coverage is applied).
  • Ambulance charges with the exception of inter-hospital transfers.
  • All cosmetic surgeries and associated charges.
  • Dental services unless related to jaw injury and/or disease.
  • Alcohol and drug rehabilitation unless prior approval is granted.
  • Experimental services.

Metis Health Benefits

The Northwest Territories offers supplementary health benefits for indigenous Metis residents (to be eligible for these benefits you must first successfully apply for the Métis Health Benefits program).

This program includes coverage for:

  • Dental services (100% coverage for eligible expenses which includes routine checkups, cleanings, scalings, etc.).
  • Vision care: eyeglasses, lenses and more. Every 2 years for eligible residents aged 18 and up, and every 12 months for residents younger than 18 years old.
  • Reasonable and customary charges for durable medical equipment and supplies (limitations apply as per Alberta Blue Cross). Examples are diabetic supplies, wheelchairs, walkers, orthotic and custom footwear, and oxygen supplies.
  • Prescription drugs (100% coverage for eligible expenses).

NWT also offers Extended Health Benefits for people with specified diseases and/or conditions that are not otherwise covered.

- for full details please visit the Northwest Territories government website -

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Last updated February 2017