Telehealth and your cover
With us all needing to spend more time at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, telehealth consultations via phone or video conferencing have become an ideal way for members to access select healthcare services.
Can everyone access telehealth services?
As long as you're already covered for a service, have served relevant waiting periods and have remaining limits, you’ll be able to claim on a telehealth consultation in the same way you would for an individual face-to-face visit. You can check which services you’re covered for by logging in online or via the nib App.
A telehealth consultation will only be provided where it is safe and clinically appropriate, so please check with your provider to see if this is something they're able to do.
Access to these services will be in place until 30 June 2020, but we'll be reviewing the pandemic situation to determine if this date should be extended.
Which services are available by telehealth?
For members with Extras cover, you can claim on telehealth consultations for the following services (provided your cover includes them, and subject to waiting periods and limits):
- Speech pathology
- Occupational therapy
- Exercise physiology
We'll also be considering additional services where it’s clinically appropriate and adding them to this list as they become available.
For members with Hospital cover, your rehabilitation and mental health care may also be available through telehealth appointments.
In addition, members with international student or international worker cover will also be able to access and claim on GP consultations by telehealth (provided your cover includes GP visits).
How do I find a telehealth provider?
If you’re already seeing a provider regularly, such as a psychologist or physio, check with them first to see if they’re able to offer you a telehealth consultation for your next appointment.
If you're after a new telehealth-enabled provider, our provider search will help you find a physio or GP who is within our network and able to offer telehealth appointments where it's appropriate.
We've also compiled a list of third-party search tools to help you connect with telehealth providers across the country. We’ll keep this list updated with more resources as they become available.
- Australian Psychological Society - Find a psychologist
- Australian Podiatry Association - Find a podiatrist
- Dietitians Association of Australia - Find a dietitian
- Speech Pathology Australia - Find a speech pathologist
- Occupational Therapy Australia - Find an occupational therapist
- Exercise & Sports Science Australia - Find an exercise physiologist
How do I claim for my telehealth appointment?
Before booking your appointment, you should check with your provider how they accept payments for telehealth consultations.
If your provider offers on-the-spot claiming for telehealth appointments, you’ll just need to give them the eight-digit number on the front of your nib card, followed by the two-digit number on the back of your card.
If you need to pay the full cost upfront make sure your provider sends you through a detailed receipt, ideally by email. To make a claim, you can then upload your receipt by logging in online or by using the nib App.
How to get the most out of telehealth
Although telehealth appointments have been available for many years, it’s a new experience for most of us. As with anything new your first telehealth appointment may be a bit daunting, but after a few appointments you’ll feel more comfortable. Here are some tips to help make telehealth easy.
If you can, arrange an appointment with your regular health professional. Choosing someone who you’re comfortable with and who knows your history can make for a better telehealth experience.
Choose a quiet, private place where you won’t be disturbed that will be suitable for the type of appointment you’re having. For example, you may need a little extra room to move for a physiotherapy consultation.
Before your appointment, make a list of any questions or concerns that you would like addressed, plus any existing prescriptions, tests or referrals that you may need. Prioritise this list at the beginning of the appointment in case you run out of time.
- Prepare for your meeting early and wait for your health professional to join you. If your appointment is over the phone, the incoming call may be labelled with no caller ID as they might be using their personal phone. Make sure you take the time to test out the video function on your device, such as your laptop or mobile, and familiarise yourself with any new software your provider has recommended.
Prop up your device so you can go hands-free during your appointment. And double-check what's behind you - your health professional will be able to see this too.
If you have invited a friend, family member or carer to be with you during your appointment, make sure you inform your health professional at the beginning of your appointment. For privacy reasons, neither you nor your health professional can record your appointment. Your health professional will still take notes and enter them into your file as normal.
If you forget to ask how a prescription or referral will be sent to you, call your provider’s office after your appointment for clarification.
You can read more about what to expect during your first telehealth appointment on The Check Up.