Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy Program for Approved Out-of-Province Medical Referrals

You may be eligible for assistance with the costs of transportation in relation to accessing medical care outside of Manitoba.

If your treating Manitoba specialist has referred you outside of Manitoba for medical treatment, you can ask your specialist to apply for a transportation subsidy on your behalf.

In order for Manitoba Health (Health) to approve coverage of transportation costs in relation to an out-of-province referral, the following criteria must be met:

  1. You must be referred out-of-province by an appropriate Manitoba specialist for insured care and treatment that cannot be rendered in Manitoba, and in the case of an out-of-country referral treatment that cannot be rendered in Manitoba or elsewhere in Canada.
  2. Evidence is required from a Manitoba specialist to demonstrate what services or investigations are medically necessary and why they (or a service of equal nature) are not available in Manitoba, and in the case of out-of-country referral in Manitoba or elsewhere in Canada.
  3. Approval must be granted for services requested outside of Canada, prior to the treatment occurring.
  4. It must be demonstrated that the requested service is not experimental, of emerging technology or being performed on a trial basis.

How do I get my money back?

If your application for out-of-province subsidy has been approved, a claim form for reimbursement of out-of-province transportation costs will be enclosed with your copy of Health approval letter. Claim forms may also be obtained from Health at the address shown below, or by contacting an out-of-province representative at 204-786-7303 (toll free 1-800-392-1207 extension 7303).

Forward the completed form to Health with your original cancelled airline, train, bus ticket or e-ticket (ex: electronic Internet ticket) and boarding pass when you return. If you had to pay a “change fee” to reschedule your flight, include the original receipt from the airline. Be sure to include your six-digit Manitoba Health registration number and your full address on the claim form.

The timeline for submission of transportation subsidy reimbursement is six (6) months from the payment date. Claims received/submitted after this timeframe will not be considered for reimbursement.

Claims for reimbursement should be sent to:

Out-of-Province Claims
Manitoba Health
300 Carlton Street Winnipeg, MB R3B 3M9

Need additional information? Please write to the above address, or call/email to:

Telephone: 204-786-7303
Toll Free: 1-800-392-1207 Ext 7303
Fax: 204-772-2248
Email:  OutofProvinceClaims@gov.mb.ca
TDD/TTY: 204-774-8618
For TDD/TYY Relay Service outside Winnipeg call 711 or 1-800-855-0511

Sometimes a patient needs medical treatment or care that cannot be provided in Manitoba. Manitoba is one of only a few provinces in Canada that offers assistance to help cover transportation costs related to receiving medical care outside of the province.

The Manitoba Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy Program offers financial assistance to help reduce your costs. It is not designed to cover 100 per cent of your expenses.

How do I apply for an Out-of- Province Transportation Subsidy?

If you expect to require assistance with the costs of transportation for the purpose of accessing medical care outside of Manitoba, before you make your travel arrangements, you should ask your treating Manitoba specialist to apply to Health on your behalf for an Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy.

Health will require a referral from your treating Manitoba specialist, for insured care and treatment that is not available in Manitoba. It must be demonstrated that the services or investigations are medically necessary and not excluded from coverage (ex: not experimental, of emerging technology or being performed on a trial basis).

Benefits for care payable by Health are limited by regulation. Manitobans are strongly advised to have private medical insurance when traveling outside the province.

How do I confirm the date and details of my out-of-province appointment?

If you are approved for coverage for out-of-province medical services, you will receive a copy of the approval letter that Health has sent to your referring Manitoba specialist. At that point you should contact your referring Manitoba specialist to establish a date and details for your out-of-province appointment. Manitoba Health does not arrange these appointments.

Do I make my own travel arrangements?

Yes. If you choose to fly, book an economy class or seat sale ticket at least 14 days in advance of your appointment, to take advantage of lower airfares for advance bookings. Keep your original cancelled airline ticket. If you have purchased an electronic ticket over the Internet, ask for an electronic confirmation (e-ticket) showing a breakdown of costs, including the flight cost, taxes and fees.

If you choose to drive, Health will reimburse the actual cost of gas required for you to travel to your destination. Gas receipts must be submitted in order to be considered for reimbursement. Without gas receipts, Health will be unable to provide reimbursement for travel by car.

Should I buy an open airline ticket?

No. Open tickets are usually more expensive than tickets with specific leave and return dates. Purchase a lower-cost ticket that allows you to change your flight date for a fee. Health will reimburse the “change fee” if you have to reschedule your flight because of an appointment change or other medical reason.

Do I pay the transportation costs myself?

Yes. Pay the cost up-front for your airfare. Then apply to Health for reimbursement when you return. Transportation claims for approved out-of-province medical care are always given priority for processing and reimbursement.

What about cancellation insurance?

Health does not reimburse the cost of cancellation insurance. If the date of your appointment changes, you will be reimbursed the amount of the “change fee” to reschedule your flight.

What if I need an escort?

Transportation costs for an escort will be covered only if your referring Manitoba specialist confirms in writing that an escort is medically required for the care and well being of the patient during travel. The escort must travel with the patient in order to qualify for reimbursement under the travel subsidy program. If there is no medical evidence that an escort is needed, Health will not cover this cost.

If the patient is a child 18 years of age or younger, the transportation cost for an escort is covered. Health will reimburse return travel costs for one parent (or other caregiver over 18 years of age) to travel with the patient (child) who has been approved for medical care outside of Manitoba.

What if I need to make more than one trip?

If more than one trip is necessary to treat your medical condition, your referring Manitoba specialist must submit a letter of referral to Health for each trip.

What amount is covered?

Health will cover the lowest economy airfare (not executive or first-class), train fare or bus fare to transport a patient for approved out-of-province care.

Only out-of-pocket costs will be reimbursed. The program will not pay your travel costs if another program or benefit plan will cover this expense on your behalf. For example, if the cost of your flight is paid for or reduced through a discount program (ex: Air Miles), you will be reimbursed only for the actual amount you paid for your ticket minus GST (refer to “What amount is not covered”).

What amount is not covered?

The Manitoba Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy Program does not cover meals, accommodations, car rental, taxi fares, parking fees or other expenses associated with out-of-town travel.

Health is unable to reimburse the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) portion of airline tickets. However, patients can complete a “GST Rebate” application form and forward it with the original ticket(s) to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency for consideration. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Winnipeg Tax Services Office at 1-800-959-5525.

Patients may wish to contact Canada Revenue and Customs Agency toll free at 1-800-959-8281 to inquire if any costs could be claimed under medical expenses when filing personal income tax.

Is there coverage for ambulance services?

The Manitoba Out-of-Province Transportation Subsidy Program does not cover transportation by ambulance.

In emergency cases, air ambulance transportation may be required based on information supplied by your referring Manitoba specialist. If you require such transportation, you will not be billed for the cost of the air ambulance trip. You may, however, need to arrange your own travel to get back to your home community when you are ready to return.