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A travel grant for residents of Northern Ontario helps patients and their families pay for transportation and hotel costs when going to other regions for medical care. There are many medical services that are available only in large metropolitan areas and certain specialized clinics and hospitals.
People who live in small towns or rural areas may need to travel overnight or even longer to get the treatment they need. The travel grant program reimburses a patient and a travel companion (if applicable) for transportation and hotel expenses.
The grant program allows eligible patients to travel to a medical specialist or health care facility funded by the ministry if their usual health care provider is unable to supply needed treatment.
You must travel 100 kilometers or more one-way to get to the specialist or ministry-funded health care location to be eligible for this grant.
Apply for a Northern Ontario travel grant by courier or go to a Service Ontario site in-person. Service Ontario locations are open Monday through Friday, and some are open Saturdays. Toronto, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Brampton, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Mississauga have more than one service center.
The address for courier-sent applications is:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Claims Services Branch
NHTG, Sudbury office
199 Larch St., Suite 801
Sudbury, ON P3E 5R1
Call 1 800 262-6524 if you can’t make arrangements in person or by mail for more information.
Many people can avoid travel by making an appointment for a telemedicine visit with the Ontario Telemedicine Network for consultation via computer. Ask your doctor if a videoconference appointment will work for you.
Can I Get A Travel Grant?
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You can get a travel grant if you meet all the following conditions:
You’re an Ontario resident and insured by OHIP on the day of your treatment. Your primary home is in Algoma, Kenora, Cochrane, Nipissing, Manitoulin, Timiskaming, Parry Sound, Thunder Bay, Rainy River or Sudbury.
You’ve been referred by a Northern dentist, physician, midwife, chiropractor, a nurse practitioner who has been certified by the RCPSC or recognized by a Winnipeg (Manitoba) Health Specialist.
The health provider should be able to bill as a specialist or a doctor who holds a specialist certificate of registration from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in a medical or surgical specialty.
You are eligible if you’ve been referred to a procedure under the Health Insurance Act and funded by Ministry Health Care. The procedure must be performed by a midwife, PET scan technician or another medical professional in the Ministry-funded facility.
If the nearest facility or specialist is located at least 100 kilometers from your home, you’re also eligible.
You may qualify even if you don’t have a Northern referring health provider. Call (705) 675-4010, or 1 800-461-4006 and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will give you more information.
You’re ineligible for a travel grant if you are visiting a sick relative in the hospital, going to a destination other than Manitoba or Ontario, another agency or government program is footing the bill for the trip, or a health provider less than 100 kilometers from your home can perform the service.
You are also ineligible if you travel by ambulance round-trip to your destination, or if the health care services involve private insurance or your employer pays your treatment or travel bills.
Travel And Accommodation Costs
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The travel grants pay 41 cents per kilometer, based on return road mileage for both commercial and personal driving. The distance between your residence and the medical office or specialist that provides the service is the area calculated for travel mileage. There is a 100 kilometer deductible for your trip.
There’s an accommodation allowance for hotel stays for patients traveling to and from treatment. You must meet the travel criteria to be eligible.
You can receive over $100 accommodation allowance if the medical provider or ministry-funded medical care needs you to stay more than one night. If you need more than one night of lodging, specify the number of nights in section one of the application form.
The out-of-town medical provider must write a letter to the Northern Ontario grant address stating that more than one night’s accommodations are needed, or he or she can fill out Section 3 in the grant application form. Any medical provider letter must be submitted with the application if you want to qualify for more than one night’s lodging.
$100 per night for one or two nights
$250 total for three nights of lodging
$500 for four to seven nights
$550 for eight or more nights at a hotel
The Northern Ontario travel grant does not cover food or incidentals.
You can get an accommodation allowance if you met the travel criteria listed in the travel grant section and submit a receipt in your name for the accommodation expenses you paid. Patients under 18 years old must have a receipt for expenses in their parent’s or guardian’s name.
A Ministry of Health-funded facility, which includes long term care facilities, are funded directly or indirectly by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. These facilities include:
- A vision-testing clinic
- A Regional Cancer Center
- A cleft and palate clinic
- The Assistive Devices Program
- A ministry approved clinic that fits walking aids and artificial limbs
- Toronto Children’s Centre
- The Speech Foundation of Ontario
Chemotherapy at a regional cancer center, dialysis or MRIs done at a hospital, and ultrasound or pulmonary tests done at a hospital are just a few of the procedures covered by the Ministry of Health
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A person over 16 who helps you travel can help you apply for the grant. When you travel by rail, bus or plane with a companion, you may both by eligible for a grant. You can both share one grant if you travel by car.
The northern-referring health provider needs to indicate that a person under 16 years old needs a companion for health or safety purposes. You must travel with your companion to the treatment location, and you must pay a fare if traveling commercially and keep receipts.
Only one travel grant is given if more than one person travels in a car to a medical appointment. The grant must be shared by everyone in the car. Each patient may qualify for a $100.00 allowance if the closest specialist or ministry funded health care facility is at least 200 kilometers away from his or her residence.
How To Apply
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Get your application forms from your dentist, northern doctor, midwife, nurse practitioner or chiropractor or fill it out online. Fill out Section 1 on your application. Be careful when filling out the application because incomplete applications will be returned and your payment will be delayed.
You’ll need a referral before you travel, and you should only complete the referral section once every year if the travel is to the same practitioner. Include a new referral if you need to go to a new provider. Your travel companion (if you have one)needs to fill out Section 5.
Women from ages 30 and 69 going to an Ontario Breast Screening Program facility won’t need to complete the referral section.
Fill out an application for each treatment trip. Submit one application for each round-trip treatment even if you visit several doctors or facilities during that trip.
The provider you visit for treatment needs to fill out Section 3 of the Northern Ontario travel grant form before you head out on your trip home. The health provider must sign and date the form and describe the procedure performed.
Write down your travel itinerary and include your receipts and those of your travel partner (if applicable). Direct questions and completed forms to the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, Claims Services Branch office in Sudbury.
Applying For Grant For An Incapable Person
You can apply for a travel grant for an incapable person over 16 years old as the individual’s substitute decision maker, or SDM. You will sign the application on the person’s behalf.
There are several categories of people who can act as SDM. If no one is available in the first category, someone in the second category, the third category, etc. can act as the SDM.
- The patient’s parent or guardian or guardian of property
- The patient’s attorney for property or personal care
- A representative appointed by the Consent and Capacity Board
- The patient’s spouse or partner
- The patient’s parent or child
- A parent with a right of access to the patient only
- A sibling of the patient
- Another relative (cousin, aunt, uncle, etc.) of the patient
Submit receipts with your application. An itemized receipt is a receipt that lists items with the price for each one, like on a hotel receipt. The receipt includes the person’s name, the date of the stay, and the fees. The authorization receipt for a debit or credit card transaction isn’t an itemized receipt.
Send your receipts and application to the following address:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Claims Services Branch
199 Larch Street, Suite 80
Sudbury ON P3E 5R1