With the rapid expansion of telehealth over the past 18 months, the value of this service is now widely recognised.
Medicare telehealth rebates are now being made permanent, while most private health insurers have already implemented this.
Continuing to provide telehealth rebates is a move in the right direction to provide people with increased access and flexibility in their health care options.
Research shows that telehealth consults result in positive health outcomes just as in-person consults do. Telehealth has the added benefit of being accessible from a distance and can provide greater flexibility with appointments.
In these times of COVID-19 and social distancing, telehealth consults offer increased safety and can be accessed at all stages of restrictions.
How much is the rebate?
The rebate amount depends on whether it is provided via Medicare or your private health insurer. Medicare provides rebates of about $53 for individual consults for those who meet eligibility criteria. Rebates from private health funds will vary depending on the insurer and the level of cover.
Am I eligible for a rebate?
To access Medicare rebates patients need to be referred by a GP and have a care plan for a chronic condition. Up to 5 appointments can be included. See your GP to discuss your specific situation and request a referral.
Eligibility for private health fund rebates will be outlined in your insurance details and may depend on what other services you have already claimed. Contact your private health fund to check if you are covered and confirm the rebate criteria.
Medicare and private health insurance rebates cannot both be claimed for the same consult.
Which private health insurers offer rebates?
The majority, if not all, private health funds are providing rebates for telehealth Dietitian consults. This is a permanent service for most insurers although some continue to have it in place temporarily (eg HCF and HBF).
It is best to contact private health funds directly to confirm up to date details of their services.
The introduction of permanent telehealth rebates allows greater access to health services, particularly specialty services, and will see many people benefit from this positive change.
I look forward to continuing to help people with their plant-based nutrition needs via telehealth.