Medibank and ahm extend benefits for telehealth consults

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Medibank has joined a number of other private health insurers in extending benefits for a range of telehealth consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The insurer has extended benefits for telehealth consultations for psychology, physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, podiatry, exercise physiology and speech therapy, until further notice. Access to these telehealth services was due to end on 30 September 2020.

According to chief customer officer David Koczkar, “The feedback from our customers on the delivery of health services via telephone and video conferencing has been promising.”

Medibank said it has processed more than 12,500 claims since telehealth services were added to extras cover at the end of March.

It said Victorians have the highest usage of telehealth at 38 per cent of services. Since the end of March, allied health professionals from the Melbourne CBD and the inner-city suburb of Prahran, have been the busiest providers of telehealth services for customers in Victoria.

Nationally, psychology is the most common telehealth claim across all age groups at 34 per cent, except for those under 10, with speech therapy representing 70 per cent of claims.

Customers aged 30 to 39 have been the fastest adopters of telehealth, accounting for a quarter of all claims. Psychology and physiotherapy were the most popular services used over telehealth in this age group.

"We want our customers to get value from their extras cover and that means being able to access treatment in a way that suits them. Whether it’s being supported with an injury rehabilitation program by your physiotherapist or a child continuing their speech therapy treatment, it’s important customers can continue with their healthcare," added Mr Koczkar.