How the travel grant program works?

For eligible applicants, travel grants are based on the distance to their closest medical specialist or ministry funded health care facility able to provide the required health care services.

An applicant must travel at least 100 kilometres (km) one-way to access the closest medical specialist, or ministry funded health care facility services that are not available locally.

What costs does the NHTG program help pay?

Travel:
Whether you drive or travel by commercial means, travel grants are always paid at 41 cents per kilometre (based on return road distance travel), between your area of residence and the location of the nearest medical specialist or ministry funded health care facility that can provide the required OHIP-insured service. There is a deductible of 100 kilometres on your trip.

Refer to the question & answer under the section: “How is the travel grant calculated” for further information.

Accommodation Allowance

For patients whose medical specialist services or ministry funded health care facility-based procedures are provided before November 1, 2017, the NHTG Program offers an accommodation allowance of $100.00 per eligible treatment trip to patients who:

  • meet travel grant eligibility criteria;

  • travel one-way road distance of at least 200 kilometres to the closest specialist or ministry funded health care facility that is able to provide the required services (e.g. hospital for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)) and;

  • submit an accommodation receipt in their names or have their name on the receipts as a guest to prove they paid an accommodation expense. For an individual under the age of 18, an accommodation allowance receipt can be in the name of his/her parent/guardian.

For services provided on, or after November 1, 2017, eligible patients may receive an additional accommodation allowance. The medical specialist or ministry funded health care facility they are referred to, will determine if it is necessary for them to spend more than one lodging night out-of-town (in order to access medical specialist services or ministry funded health care facility-based procedures). If this occurs, the necessary number of lodging nights will be specified by the patient in section 1 of the NHTG application and by the medical specialist/or ministry funded health care facility provider in section 3 of the NHTG application form, or they can write a letter to the NHTG Program stating: “in their professional judgement, the accommodation allowance of greater than one lodging night is necessary to access an out-of-town medical specialist health care services, or ministry funded health care facility-based procedure.”

  • This letter must be submitted along with an application form to qualify for more than one lodging night’s allowance per treatment trip. Refer to the additional accommodation allowance schedule below.

For patients whose medical specialist services or ministry funded health care facility-based procedures are provided on or after November 1, 2017, the additional accommodation allowance per treatment trip is:

  • $100 per lodging night up to 2 lodging nights

  • $250 for 3 lodging nights

  • $500 for 4-7 lodging nights

  • $550 for 8 or more lodging nights

Will the NHTG Program cover all my travel costs?

No. The grant helps you pay for some medical travel related costs, but does not cover all expenses, such as meals.

How is the travel grant calculated?

Your travel grant is calculated based on the distance to the closest medical specialist or ministry funded health care facility. The one-way road distance is multiplied by 2, a deductible of 100 kilometres is subtracted, then the remaining distance is multiplied by 41 cents per kilometre to determine the grant amount.  For commercial travel (air, bus, rail) you must provide an original ticket, receipt or itinerary showing a fare paid, who is travelling, the date of the travel and destination. Do not submit meal or gas receipts as these are not required initially and will not be returned. Please keep them until after your application is processed, in the event the ministry asks for them to support your travel.

The grant is the two-way distance minus 100km, multiplied by 41 cents per km.

Example One
Eligible Grant from Point A to Point B (one-way distance = 160km):
The grant is the two-way distance minus 100km multiplied by 41 cents per km - i.e. (160 x 2) - 100) x 0.41 = $90.20.

Example Two
Eligible Grant from Point C to Point D (one-way distance = 300km)

  1. Travel Grant Calculation is ((300km x 2) - 100) x 0.41 = $205.00

  2. Accommodation allowance = $100.00

  3. Total payment to the patient for the trip from C to D = (1) + (2) = $205 + $100 = $305.00

Example Three
Eligible Grant from Point C to Point D (one-way distance = 300km) and specialist/ministry funded health care facility provider determines in section 3, that three lodging nights are necessary

  1. Travel Grant Calculation is ((300km x 2) - 100) x 0.41 = $205.00

  2. Accommodation allowance = $250.00

  3. Total payment to the patient for the trip from C to D = (1) + (2) = $205 + $250 = $455.00

You do not qualify for a travel grant if:

  • the health care service is not an OHIP- insured benefit

  • the care is related to a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board claim

  • your employer pays for your medical services and/or travel costs

  • another government program or organization pays for your travel e.g.: First Nations Band/Federal Government, etc.

  • the health care services have to do with a private insurance company - for example there is third party liability for medical travel costs, such as medical services related to a motor vehicle accident

  • you travel round trip by ambulance

  • the health care service is provided by a non-Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) certified medical specialist, and/or non-RCPSC certified physician in Winnipeg (Manitoba) who is not enrolled on the Manitoba Health Specialist Register; or the health care service is provided by a physician who does not hold a specialist certificate of registration issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in a recognized medical or surgical specialty other than family or general practice, or service is not provided in a ministry funded health care facility

  • the nearest specialist or ministry funded health care facility is within 100 kilometres of your area of residence

Note: If you travel one way by ambulance and the other way by car or public transportation, you may qualify for a partial grant.

What if my application for an NHTG grant is denied?

You can request an internal review, or reconsideration within 12 months from the date provided on the denial letter mailed to you. Please follow the information and instructions in the denial letter.

If there are exceptional medical circumstances surrounding your treatment trip that may allow an exception to the program eligibility criteria, you may appeal your denial decision to the external and independent NHTG Medical Appeals Committee in writing to:

Medical Appeals Committee
Care of: Northern Health Programs
159 Cedar Street, Suite 402
Sudbury, ON P3E 6A5
705-564-7280  1-866-727-9959

Do not apply for a travel grant when:

  • you travel to an out-of-town medical specialist when a local physician (less than 100 km from your area of residence) can perform the same service

  • your trip is for something other than health care

  • another agency or government program pays for your travel

  • you are travelling to visit a sick relative in hospital

  • your travel is not within Ontario or Manitoba

Who is eligible for a travel grant?

You are eligible if all of the conditions below are met:

  • you are an OHIP-insured Ontario resident on the date of treatment, and your primary place of residence is in the districts of Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Manitoulin, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, or Timiskaming

  • a northern physician, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, midwife or nurse practitioner has referred you before the travel takes place

  • you are referred to a medical specialist who is certified by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or recognized by one of the Physician Governing bodies below:

  • a Winnipeg (Manitoba) physician enrolled on the Manitoba Health Specialist Register and permitted to bill as a specialist;

  • a physician who holds a specialist certificate of registration issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in a recognized medical or surgical specialty other than family or general practice

  • you are referred for a ministry funded health care facility-based procedure under the Health Insurance Act performed by a provider in the facility (e.g. a midwife for hospital childbirth; technician for PET scan, or chemotherapy); or you are referred for a ministry-funded health care facility-based service/procedure

  • the nearest medical specialist or ministry funded health care facility able to provide the type of care or procedure you require in Ontario or Manitoba is at least 100 kilometres from your area of residence

If you do not have a northern referring provider, you may still qualify for a travel grant.  Please contact the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Claims Services Branch, at (705) 675-4010, or 1 800-461-4006 for more information.

Travel Grants