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Helping members with expanded cover for telehealth services

covid 19 support

We’ve extended our COVID-19 community support package. Read more.

Being stuck at home doesn't mean you or your family should miss crucial appointments that will help you stay on top of your health.

That's why nib is urging its members to stay engaged with their healthcare specialists who offer consultations via telehealth including over the phone or video conferencing.

To help ensure health remains a priority for its members, nib will pay benefits for a number of telehealth services including psychology, occupational therapy, dietetics, speech therapy and podiatry.

nib Group Chief Medical Officer, Dr Mellissa Naidoo, says ensuring people can still access the care they need at this difficult time is crucial, especially for those with chronic disease or complex health needs, even though measures such as physical distancing or self-isolation are in place.

"We want to make sure our members can still get the treatment they need and attend their appointments, to stay on track with their health," Dr Naidoo said.

"Telehealth, which is simply the use of technology to provide remote healthcare, can keep people connected with health professionals to help them maintain health, manage chronic conditions and even prevent unnecessary hospital visits during these tough times,” she added.

Many doctors, specialists and allied health professionals are now offering virtual consultations as an alternative to traditional face to face clinic visits, and there are guidelines for both consumers and providers to help them get the most out of these appointments.

"If you or perhaps your child, are on a treatment program, for example with a physiotherapist or speech pathologist, you can keep that going using telehealth," Dr Naidoo said. "It's important to be able to continue to make progress against your planned health goals, and not fall behind.

"We are all doing the right thing to reduce the spread of coronavirus by staying at home, physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary outings, but it's also important to ensure that people with chronic disease continue to attend appointments related to their ongoing health needs. Technology can enable that, and we are keen to support access in this way," she added.

Until 30 September 2020, nib members with Extras cover, can access the following telehealth services (where their cover includes them and it's suitable for their condition):

  • Psychology

  • Physiotherapy

  • Dietetics

  • Speech pathology

  • Occupational therapy

  • Exercise physiology

  • Podiatry

For members with Hospital cover, rehabilitation and mental health care may also be available through telehealth appointments. More services will be added where clinically appropriate.

"We encourage members to check with their provider if they are able to offer a telehealth consultation for their next appointment. Alternatively we've also put together a list of telehealth providers across the country on our website,” Dr Naidoo said.

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