As most of you are aware, the Canadian Snowbird Association has successfully worked with a number of provinces in Canada on the issue of residency requirements and eligibility for continuous health coverage. Over the last few years, the CSA has succeeded in advocating for an additional month of coverage in provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The CSA is pleased to announce that the Northwest Territories (NWT) has recently amended their temporary absence policy to increase coverage for residents on extended vacations. Long-term vacationing residents will now only need to be present in the territory for 153 days each year, as opposed to the previous requirement of 183 days, in order to remain eligible for continuous territorial health benefits. This additional month of coverage puts the Northwest Territories in line with other jurisdictions across Canada that have made similar changes.
Snowbirds from the NWT should keep in mind that they need to complete a temporary absence form, for absences exceeding 3 months, to ensure they are covered for the duration of their absence. This form has recently been amended, making it more user-friendly and easy to complete. It now features an important information section which outlines what supporting documentation will be required with your application.
Both the temporary absence form and the NWT Health Care Plan – Information for NWT Residents information booklet have already been revised to reflect the new policy change. The updated form and publication can be accessed online at www.hss.gov.nt.ca and can be found in hard-copy format at health clinics and centres across the territory.
The Canadian Snowbird Association would like to thank the Government of the Northwest Territories, in particular the Minister of Health and Social Services Glen Abernethy, for supporting this extension and making it a reality.