Medibank has announced it is rapidly increasing customer access to telehealth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said restrictions like social distancing have created an imperative to find new ways for customers to use their private health insurance.
It said Medibank customers with extras cover, including those with AHM, that includes services normally delivered face-to-face will be able to claim for a range of consultations delivered by phone or video.
"The selected services are those where telehealth can be delivered effectively as an alternative to a face-to-face consultation," it said, including psychology, physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, podiatry, exercise physiology, and speech therapy.
According to Medibank chief customer officer, David Koczkar, the decision reflects the need for customers to access treatment in a way that suits them and the current environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Life is currently very different to what it used to be, but our customers are seeking to maintain treatment with their health professional,” said Mr Koczkar.
Medibank said it is also funding hospitals to deliver their existing mental health and rehabilitation programs via telehealth to eligible customers with hospital cover.
“These programs provide valuable information, skills and support to our customers and it’s vital to keep this going, so we’re opening up the option for hospitals to deliver these services by telehealth,” added Mr Koczkar.