The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
FACT #1: IHS is not health insurance The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a part of the federal government that delivers health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) and provides funds for tribal and urban Indian health programs. Health insurance, on the other hand, pays for health care covered by your plan.
and does not receive enough funds to meet all the health needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. That is why IHS does not offer certain services and why some services aren’t available at certain times of year. In fact, the IHS budget only meets about half of the need, so enrollment in health insurance helps expand needed care.
Federal law says that IHS has to report to Congress each year on the quality of health care it provides to its patients. Other Federal health care programs such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have to do the same.