Bupa leads the way to instant telehealth rebates


Customers using telehealth services can now have their claims processed over the phone and enjoy new levels of convenience thanks to an initiative from Australia’s largest health insurer, Bupa.

Bupa 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.

‘On-the-spot’ rebates were previously only available for customers who swiped their card in-person, now, providers with HICAPS technology will be able to process a customer’s claim over the phone following a telehealth consultation.

Bupa’s Director of Customer Experience, Sally Damiani said it was a great win for customers.

“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,” Ms Damiani said.

Bupa’s initiative to cover telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic was initially scheduled to run until 30 June but this program has since 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,” Ms Damiani said.

The list of applicable telehealth services and corresponding Item numbers are listed on the HICAPS website.

Media reference number: 20/067