Which insurers are doing health cards in Apple Wallet?

Posted: 28 July 2021 10:41 am
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Australian iPhone users can finally access digital health insurance cards, but only some funds are offering them.

Australians will be the first country in the world to have access to contactless digital health insurance cards in Apple Wallet.

The US tech giant will now offer contactless health insurance cards from Australia's biggest health funds. Medibank, Bupa, NIB and GU have already launched their contactless service, with HBF set to join at the beginning of August.

The digital cards will allow policyholders to get reimbursed by their health insurer for hospital and extras treatment without having to carry a card.

"[It's] yet another reason to leave their physical wallet at home," said Apple's vice president of Internet services Jennifer Bailey.

Added convenience for Aussie policyholders

Since its launch in 2015, Apple Pay use in Australia has grown to be among the highest in the world. There are currently over 100 partners offering Apple Pay to their customers across Australia, including every major Australian bank, fintechs, leading retailers and buy now pay later providers such as Afterpay and Zip. Australia's biggest health insurers are the next industry to adopt contactless payments.

"Australia was already a very strong market for Apple Pay and contactless but I do think the pandemic has increased that adoption even further," Bailey said.

"iPhones have a dominant position in the Australian market, so it makes sense that insurers will want to offer it," Finder's tech expert Angus Kidman said. "Despite that, the Apple Wallet had a bumpy start locally, with many of the Big Four banks initially resisting Apple Pay because of Apple's policies around access to its contactless services. But that's largely passed now, and moving to insurance is a logical next step."

"Claims made using this method help reduce time spent on manual processing for practitioners due to forgotten plastic cards, while putting money back in customers' bank accounts quicker," said Tania Motton, NAB executive for business everyday banking. NAB's HICAPS platform is being used by several insurers to offer the Apple Wallet access.

How do I access the contactless card?

If your health insurer is offering contactless cards, all you need to do is download your fund's health insurance app – if you haven't done so already – and then just tap to add your card to your Apple Wallet.

The next time you go to hospital or receive extras treatment such as dental or physio, you won't need to worry about remembering your card – it can all be done on your phone.

This should include gap payments for many insurers as well. For example, NAB said in a statement that "customers can also pay for gap payments simply and securely using Apple Pay".

If your health fund hasn't made the switch, you might want to consider changing to a provider that does. You can compare health insurance policies here.

Will contactless payments be available on Android?

There's been no news of Android adopting contactless health insurance payments yet. Neither Samsung or Google have added health insurance cards to their digital wallets.

Image: Getty Images

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