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Medical Travel Assistance

The Medical Transportation Assistance Program provides financial assistance to beneficiaries of the Medical Care Plan (MCP) who incur substantial out-of-pocket travel costs to access specialized insured medical services which are not available in their immediate area of residence and / or within the Province.

Claimable expenses include airfare, accommodations purchased from a registered accommodations provider, such as a hostel, hotel, motel and/or registered apartment, scheduled busing services, and taxis when used in conjunction with commercial air travel. When a patient/family is out of pocket for the cost of registered accommodations, there is a provision for claiming a meal allowance for each night of medically required purchased accommodations. Accommodations and/or meals provided by family / friends are not claimable expenses under the Program.

Effective July 1, 2014, the private vehicle travel and registered accommodations portions of the Medical Transportation Assistance Program will be enhanced to provide greater assistance to residents/families travelling for specialized insured medical services not available within their area of residency. These changes are only claimable for eligible specialized insured medical services provided on or after July 1, 2014.

Please note the following effective changes:

  • Compensation for Private Vehicle Travel will increase from $0.16 to $0.20 per kilometer for patient/family specialized medical travel in excess of 1,500 kilometers during a 12-month period.
  • The maximum amount eligible for cost sharing for Purchased Registered Accommodations will increase from $1,500 to $3,000 in a 31-day period.
  • Previously claimable expenses in excess of $5,000 during a 12-month period were cost shared at 65 percent. As of July 1, 2014, this will be amended so that claimable expenses in excess of $3,000 during a 12-month period will be cost shared at 75 percent.
All application forms on this site are still valid.


50% Pre-Payment of Economy Airfare

Who Is Eligible

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who are required to travel to access medically necessary insured services that are not available within their area of residency or within the province may be eligible to receive assistance with the cost of their medical travel expenses. An escort may be approved to travel with the patient when it is recommended by the referring physician.

How to Apply

The patient and the referring physician must complete this application in full. Incomplete applications will be returned to the patient.

Completed applications must be submitted to the Medical Transportation Assistance Program at least two months prior to the confirmed scheduled appointment/consultation date(s).

Medical Referrals

In-province medical travel requires the referral of a physician.

Out-of-province (within Canada) medical travel requires the referral of a Newfoundland & Labrador specialized physician. A copy of the medical referral to the medical consultant within Canada is required and must accompany this application.

Out-of-country medical travel may be eligible for travel assistance if your in-province specialized physician has obtained prior approval for out-of-country treatment from the Medical Care Plan (MCP).

Approvals

If approval for 50% pre-payment of economy airfare is granted, the patient will be issued a Travel Authorization Number indicating whether the approved travel is for the patient only, escort only, or for the patient and his/her escort. It will also indicate whether the approval is for one-way or round-trip travel.

The escort is required to travel from/to the same location (airport) as the patient.

Booking the Travel

The patient will be provided with appropriate contact information of the travel agency partnering with the Medical Transportation Assistance Program in order to book the required medical travel.

At the time of booking the patient will be required to make payment of 50% of the cost of the economy airfare. The remaining 50% and any applicable booking fees will be paid by the Medical Transportation Assistance Program.

Rescheduled/Cancelled Travel

If travel has to be rescheduled the patient must notify the Medical Transportation Assistance Program of the reason and the new travel date(s).

The patient will be responsible to pay any extra charges as a result of rescheduling. The charges can then be submitted for assessment for eligibility for cost-sharing with the post-medical travel claim.

The patient will be responsible for repayment of any monies paid by the Medical Transportation Assistance Program when the patient cancels the pre-approved medical travel.

Post-Travel Assessment

Once all approved medical travel has concluded the patient must complete a Claim for Airfare and Purchased Registered Accommodations form and submit it, along with the travel itinerary and a confirmation of the medical appointment(s), to the Medical Transportation Assistance Program.

Any additional eligible expenses and/or payment(s) received from another source such as a private insurance company will be factored into the post-medical travel assessment.

If the post-medical assessment identifies that an overpayment was made by the Medical Transportation Assistance Program, the patient will be responsible for reimbursement of that amount.

Exclusions

Income support recipients are not eligible as their medical travel costs may be funded by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.

Residents who received funding for medical travel from Federal or Provincial Departments, Agencies, Boards or Commissions such as the Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission or Regional Health Authorities are not eligible under this program.

Bone marrow/stem cell and organ donors who receive financial assistance for medical travel through the Eastern Regional Health Authority are not eligible for assistance under this program.

Contact Information

Applications for 50% Pre-payment of Economy Airfare are to be submitted to:

Medical Transportation Assistance Program
Department of Health & Community Services
PO Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6

All forms are available on the website at www.health.gov.nl.ca/mtap

You may contact the Medical Transportation Assistance Program by calling 1-877-475-2412 or by facsimile at 709-729-1918.

Claim for Private Vehicle Usage

Who Qualifies

The private vehicle usage enhancement to the Medical Transportation Assistance Program is effective for travel on or after October 1, 2010.

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who travel via private vehicle to access medically required specialized insured services, treatments and diagnostic procedures which are not available in their area of residence or which are not available in the province may be eligible for assistance at the prescribed rate.

Confirmation of Specialized Services

All claims for assistance for medical travel via private vehicle require written confirmation from the service provider indicating the date(s) the service(s) was provided and the specialized service(s) received. Specialized services include: consultation with a specialist or sub-specialist, chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation treatment, Nuclear Medicine, MRI, and PET Scans. Confirmation of Specialized Insured Services Form PDF (31 KB)

In-Province Specialized Services

In-province medical travel assistance claims require confirmation from the provider that the specialized insured service was received.

A referral from a Newfoundland and Labrador physician may also be required in some cases.

Medical Referrals

Out-of-province medical travel requires referral of a specialized Newfoundland and Labrador physician and copy of supporting medical referral to the medical consultant within Canada.

Out-of-country medical travel requires that the referring specialized physician gain prior approval for out-of country treatment from the Medical Care Plan (MCP).

How Does the Program Work

Residents who travel in excess of 2,500 kilometres by private vehicle during a 12-month period to attend medically required specialized insured services which are not available in their home community, may be eligible for financial assistance at the prescribed rate of 16 cents per kilometre (km).

Kilometres are calculated based on the distance between the community of residence and the community where the specialized insured service is received using the NL Statistics Agency Kilometre Matrix which is available at http://www.stats.gov.nl.ca/DataTools/RoadDB/Distance/.

Kilometres for out-of province medical travel are calculated using the shortest distance between communities using Google Maps.

Local travel or travel within the area where the service is received is not claimable.

Calculations for assistance are based on a 12-month period beginning on the first date of eligible specialized appointment claimed.

Eligible kilometres for immediate family members who live in the same household may be combined by a single claimant in order to reach the 2,500 km requirement. Where patients travel together for appointments on the same day, only one individual may claim the kilometres traveled.

All kilometres claimed must be recorded on the Claim for Private Vehicle Usage Form.

Patient attendance at the medical appointment must be confirmed by the attending physician, specialist or healthcare provider. Confirmation of Specialized Insured Services Form PDF (31 KB)

Signature of family members 16 years and older is required.

Once a claim is approved, a payment is issued to the claimant.

Persons Not Eligible for Assistance Under the Private Vehicle Usage Enhancement

Income Support recipients are not eligible as their medical travel costs may be funded by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.

Residents who receive funding for medical travel from Federal or Provincial Departments, Agencies, Boards or Commissions such as the Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission or Regional Health Authorities are not eligible under this program.

Bone Marrow/Stem Cell and Organ Donors who receive financial assistance for medical travel through the Eastern Regional Health Authority are not eligible for assistance under this program.

Non-Eligible Kilometres

Residents who travel via private vehicle to access non-specialized insured services or to access specialized services, treatments or diagnostic procedures which are available in their area of residence are not eligible for medical travel assistance under the Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP) or the enhancement.

Non-Eligible Services and Treatments Include but are not Limited to

  • General practitioner appointments (scheduled or unscheduled);
  • Emergency room visits;
  • Laboratory services, such as blood and urine collection;
  • Routine diagnostic services such as chest x-rays, EKG, etc.;
  • Experimental research or clinical trials;
  • Private clinics such as physiotherapy; and,
  • Services not insured under the Medical Care Plan.

Submission of Claim(s)

The Medical Transportation Assistance Program Claim for Private Vehicle Usage Form can be sent by mail to:

Medical Transportation Assistance Program
Department of Health and Community Services
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

Eligible private vehicle medical claims are not to be submitted until the number of claimable kilometres exceeds 2,500 km in a 12-month period.

Claims for other expenses such as airfare or purchased registered accommodations must be submitted on the Medical Transportation Assistance Claim for Airfare and Purchased Registered Accommodations Application.

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Claim for Airfare and Purchased Registered Accommodations

Who Qualifies

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who travel commercial air and/or by private vehicle a distance greater than 200 km (one way) to access medically necessary insured services. The program assists with the costs associated with out-of-pocket registered purchased accommodations and eligible meal allowance when private vehicles are used:

  • Within the province when an insured service is not available in the area of residence;
  • Outside the province when an insured service is not available within the province; and,
  • When an escort is required as recommended by the referring physician.

All claims for assistance for medical travel require written confirmation from the service provider indicating the date(s) the service(s) was provided and the specialized service(s) received. Specialized services include: consultation with a specialist or sub-specialist, chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation treatment, Nuclear Medicine, MRI, and PET Scans.
Confirmation of Specialized Insured Services Form PDF (31 KB)

Medical Referrals

In Province

In-province medical travel requires referral of a physician.

Out-of-Province - Within Canada

Out-of-province medical travel requires referral of a specialized Newfoundland and Labrador physician and copy of supporting medical referral to the medical consultant within Canada.

Out-of-Country

Out-of-country medical travel requires that the referring specialized physician must seek prior approval from the Medical Care Plan.

Excluded Persons

Income Support recipients as eligible medical travel costs may be funded through the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.

Bone Marrow/Stem Cell and Organ Donors are eligible for financial assistance through the Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Persons who receive Medical Travel Assistance from a Federal and/or Provincial Government Department, Agency, or Regional Health Authority.

Eligible Expenditures

The following are allowable expenses:

Airfare

  • Economy ticket (official ticket receipt and boarding passes required).

Accommodations

  • Up to a maximum of $125 per diem (official receipt required) when accommodations are purchased from a registered accommodations provider.
  • Patients medically required to take up temporary residence in another region of the province or another province/territory while receiving specialized medical treatment or awaiting transplantation, shall claim up to a maximum of $1,500 (official receipt required) for each period of 31 consecutive days.
  • If an escort is required, the escort is expected to share the same accommodations as the medically referred person unless that person is hospitalized.

A registered accommodations provider would be a hostel, hotel, motel and/or a licensed apartment provider such as an apartment building.

The Program does not have a provision for claiming for accommodations provided by family/friends.

Meal Allowance

When accommodations are purchased from a registered accommodations provider, the following meal allowance provisions apply:

  • In-province to a maximum of $29 per diem per person;
  • Out-of-province to a maximum of $43 per diem per person;
  • Patients medically required to take up temporary residence in another area of the province or another province/territory while receiving specialized medical treatment or awaiting transplantation shall claim up to a maximum of $700 for each period of 31 consecutive days; and,
  • If an escort is required to accompany a patient while residing in another area of the province or another province/territory, the escort's maximum meal allowance is $700 for each period of 31 consecutive days.

The Program does not have a provision for claiming for meals when accommodations are provided by family/friends.

Taxis

  • Airport to hotel/accommodations and return (official receipts required).
  • Hotel/accommodations to hospital and return (official receipts required).

Scheduled Transportation Services

  • Scheduled Transportation Services, such as registered busing/minivan services (official receipts required).

Submission of Claims

Claims must be submitted on a monthly basis for residents who require travel in excess of 31 consecutive days.

Claims for duration less than 31 days must be submitted within 12 months from the travel date.

How Does the Program Work

If the patient has private health insurance benefits, claims for this program, must be assessed by the private insurance provider prior to submitting to the Department for assessment. Please attach a copy of the private insurance assessment with the application form.

Eligible expenses under the program will be reduced by the amount paid by the private insurance plan prior to assessment under this program. The balance of eligible expenses will be assessed based on the criteria/guidelines of the program.

There is a $400 deductible in any 12-month period from the date of the initial travel for residents on the island portion of the province. The first $100 of claimable expenses in excess of $400 will be reimbursed with the balance of remaining claimable expenditures cost shared at 50 per cent.

Payment of first $1,000 in any 12-month period from the date of the initial travel for Labrador residents with the balance of remaining claimable expenditures cost shared at 50 per cent.

Claimable expenses in excess of $5,000 during a 12-month period will be cost shared at 65 per cent.

Patients are required to pay medical travel costs and make application for reimbursement of allowable expenses. However, patients may make application for 50% Pre-Payment of Economy Airfare. Please refer to the Details of the 50% Pre-Payment of Economy Airfare section for additional information.

Applicants must provide official receipts for allowable expenses.

The Department may request an applicant to seek prior approval if additional medical travel is required as follow up to the initial medical travel claim.

Allowable expenses will be assessed based on travel dates in relation to medical appointment/service date(s).

Personal care items, utilities, and long distance telephone calls are not eligible expenses.

Expenses Claimed Amount
Airfare: $____________
Dates: _________________
Registered
Accommodations: $____________
Dates: _________________
(Number of days x rate)
Meals Allowance: $____________
(based on registered accommodations)
Dates: _________________
(Number of days x rate)
Taxis: $____________
Dates: _________________
Subtotal Claimed $____________
Less: Private Insurance payment  $____________
Less: Deductible (if applicable) $____________
Total Amount Claimed $____________

Medical Transportation Assistance Program information is available by contacting 1-877-475-2412.

Medical Transportation Assistance Program
Department of Health and Community Services
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6

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