For a while there, it seemed like life was put on hold: no school, no going out, no family gatherings.

And while the restrictions implemented to help control the spread of Coronavirus may be easing, we’re still being encouraged to stay at home wherever possible. Even when it comes to health care.

The good news is, you can access health services such as psychology, physiotherapy and speech therapy from the comfort of your own home and claim health insurance benefits for these services under your extras policy.

From 9 April this year until 30 September, Latrobe Health Services has extended its extras coverage to a range of services delivered as telehealth services. Some of our 84,000 Members have already used their extras health insurance to claim for these services, with counselling, physiotherapy and speech therapy proving popular.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of communications technologies such as telephone calls or videoconferencing to deliver health services. Instead of visiting your health professional, you can ‘attend’ a telehealth appointment by dialing in to receive a diagnosis, treatment, self-management or prevention advice and educational information.

How do I access telehealth?

You can access telehealth services over the phone, but often the most effective way to attend a Telehealth appointment is via videconferencing services. You can access these online via your computer, tablet or mobile and many health care professionals are mindful to provide this via a secure platform specifically designed for health professionals with privacy in mind. Check with your health care provider for more information.

What health services can be delivered by Telehealth?

If your Latrobe Health extras policy covers you for psychology, physiotherapy, dietetics, speech pathology, podiatry, counselling, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and osteopathy then you will be able to claim benefits for these services whether delivered via telehealth or face-to-face by a registered health care provider.

What are the benefits of telehealth?

You can still attend to your health care needs without having to go anywhere, which means you avoid the risks of being exposed to Coronavirus by going into a public space, sitting in a waiting room or seeing your health professional.

It’s also a huge advantage for those living in regional centres and remote areas who might otherwise have to travel long distances to attend a health appointment with a specialist.

What are the disadvantages of telehealth?

Not all services for which we pay extras benefits can be delivered via telehealth (think massage) and not all aspects of a health service (where hands-on treatment is needed) are suitable for delivery via Telehealth.

How do I claim?

Once you’ve attended your telehealth appointment, the easiest way to submit your claim is via our mobile app, but you can also write or email.

  • The invoice/receipt must clearly state the service was a telehealth consultation.
  • The service must be delivered before 30 September 2020.
  • The service must be undertaken with a registered provider and in accordance with the relevant association’s guidelines.