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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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for Patients

Members of 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and their descendants are eligible for services provided by the Indian Health Service. Approximately 2 million of the nation's estimated 3.4 million American Indians and Alaska Natives utilize the comprehensive health service delivery system.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the health care system for federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Natives in the United States. It’s important to clarify that the IHS is not a health insurance provider and that the IHS can provide healthcare to only eligible Alaska Native and American Indians at its federal hospitals and clinics.

The policies, standards, and procedures that determine if you can get care at an Indian Health program are in the Indian Health Manual Part 2, Chapter 1. Specific questions about receiving health care should be discussed with the tribe you belong to and the health facility which you are looking to get care from.

Once you know if you can receive care at an IHS facility, contact the facility's patient registration. They will discuss the registration process, any additional documentation you need to establish your medical record, and then schedule a medical appointment. You may also be able to get care at tribal health programs based on the Tribe's agreement with IHS. You will have to contact these tribal health programs individually regarding health care being provided to a non-affiliated tribal member.

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