Bupa announces instant rebates for telehealth services

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Bupa has announced that its members using telehealth services can now have their claims processed over the phone.

The insurer said it is the only ‘major’ health insurer to offer on-the-spot claiming through its partnership with HICAPS for physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry, speech therapy, exercise physiology, occupational therapy and dietetics services delivered over the phone or via videoconferencing.

It said ‘on-the-spot’ rebates were previously only available for customers who swiped their card in-person. Providers with HICAPS technology can now process a customer’s claim over the phone following a telehealth consultation.

According to Bupa’s director of customer experience, Sally Damiani, “Processing telehealth claims right away not only reduces customer effort by eliminating the manual claims process but means they avoid being out-of-pocket for longer than they need to be.

“We are also excited to make this available for our customers during COVID-19 when more and more Australians are embracing phone and video consultations.”

Bupa said its initiative to cover telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic was scheduled to run until 30 June. It has been extended to 30 September.

“It’s vital that Australians are able to access health and wellbeing support at a time when access to ancillary services is impacted by social distancing measures due to COVID-19.

“Despite the gradual reopening of clinics and medical centres across the country, telehealth claims remain strong, with physiotherapy and psychology the two most popular telehealth claims, closely followed by speech therapy,” added Ms Damiani.