Huge progress as telehealth gets to stay post-Covid
Health minister Greg Hunt confirmed that Australia will get to keep Medicare-funded telehealth even after the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Medicare expanded to include telehealth. As a result, millions of Australians received free consultations from the safety of their own home.
While the move was initially a temporary one, health minister Greg Hunt confirmed on Friday that telehealth will remain part of Medicare's offering.
Australia gets to keep one of the few good things to come from Covid.
An early arrival
While announcing the change, Hunt revealed that telehealth was predicted to join Medicare in 2030. Due to the pandemic, the timeline shifted dramatically.
Already, more than 40 million teleconsultations have been bulk-billed across the country.
"What we're working on, is ensuring that this is a permanent transformation in the Australian scheme," added Hunt.
The announcement is particularly good news for anyone who lives in a remote area or struggles to see a doctor regularly - whether that's due to mobility limitations, restrictive health conditions, or even just time constraints.
Health insurance and telehealth
Some insurers have been offering telehealth as part of their extras cover for years, while others bolstered their packages mid-pandemic.
The table shows some examples of health funds and which services may be claimed via telehealth.
|Brand||What it covers||Available until|
|ahm||Further notice||Go to Site|
|Peoplecare||April 1, 2021||Go to Site|
|Medibank||Until further notice||Go to Site|
|Qantas||March 31, 2021||Go to Site|