N.L. government increases medical transportation assistance

Published on June 30, 2014

Improvements to the Medical Transportation Assistance Program, announced in the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador budget, will come into effect Tuesday, July 1.

The private vehicle travel and registered accommodations portions of the Medical Transportation Assistance Program will be enhanced to provide greater assistance to residents and families travelling for specialized insured medical services.

 A news release today from the Department of Health and Community Services says the following changes will be applied to eligible medical travel:

• Compensation for private vehicle travel will increase from 16 cents to 20 cents per kilometre for specialized medical travel in excess of 1,500 kilometres during a 12-month period. Previously, residents could only claim for private vehicle travel in excess of 2,500 kilometres per year;

• 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 per cent. As of July 1, this will be amended so that claimable expenses in excess of $3,000 during a 12-month period will be cost-shared at 75 per cent.

 Health Minister Paul Davis says the Medical Transportation Assistance Program is one of the most comprehensive programs in Canada in terms of coverage and scope. “The program is available to eligible residents and provides assistance to patients who travel for specialized medical services in and out of the province.”

The minister said the province allocated $711,500 in this year’s budget to enhance the program and provide greater reimbursement options for people who need to travel for eligible medical appointments.