Stay well at home with telehealth

For a limited time, HBF is paying benefits towards certain extras treatments delivered by phone or video to eligible HBF members. *This change is in response to COVID-19.

Health care can be delivered through your phone, tablet or computer.
Here's how we can help.

For a limited time, eligible HBF members can receive benefits towards certain extras services delivered by phone or video*. These are called telehealth services.

Following our recent extension, temporary benefits are currently available until 31 December 2020.

*Please see Frequently Asked Questions and Coverage Details for full information.

Temporary benefits are available for certain treatments in the following service categories:

Physiotherapy

Get back on your feet, without leaving your home.

Mental health

Stay connected with Psychology and Clinical Psychology consultations.

Dietetics & Nutrition

Optimise your eating habits to keep looking after your health.

Exercise Physiology

Don’t let a little isolation stop you from moving well.

Occupational Therapy

Get the care you need, so you can keep doing what you love.

Speech Therapy

Have a video chat with a speech therapist.

Podiatry

Kick your feet up at home with a podiatrist consult.

So how do you get telehealth cover?

Many HBF extras policies include temporary benefits for telehealth.

If you’re an HBF member, just keep reading. We’ve got frequently asked questions and coverage details for you below.

If you’re thinking of taking out new cover, select an extras policy that includes any of the above services you need. Note: New members must serve usual waiting periods before claiming for telehealth services. Temporary telehealth benefits are currently available until 31 December 2020..

Frequently asked questions

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the method of delivering health care through a phone call or videoconference.

Find out more: What is telehealth and how does it work?

Do all providers offer telehealth treatments?

The choice to deliver treatment via telehealth or face-to-face remains with your health provider. We recommend you speak to your provider to find out the best treatment method for your individual circumstances.

What will I get back on telehealth treatments?

Benefits for telehealth treatments are the same as the benefits you would ordinarily be entitled to for face-to-face treatment and are subject to waiting periods and limits. Out of pocket costs are likely to apply.

Benefits are not payable by HBF if Medicare benefits are payable for the treatment or if any of the requirements discussed above under the heading "Coverage details" are not satisfied.

When do benefits for telehealth treatments start and end?

On Monday 30 March 2020, HBF introduced temporary benefits for certain Psychology and Clinical Psychology telehealth treatments. On Thursday 9 April 2020, HBF introduced temporary benefits for certain Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition telehealth treatments. Temporary benefits for certain Podiatry telehealth treatments were introduced on 11 May 2020.

HBF recognises that members may have received telehealth treatments as a result of COVID-19 prior to these dates. If the telehealth treatment occurred on or after 16 March 2020, HBF will pay a benefit to eligible members if all other criteria are met except for Podiatry. For Podiatry, HBF will pay a benefit to eligible members if the treatment occurred on or after 1 April 2020 and if all other criteria are met.

Following a recent extension, temporary benefits are currently available until 31 December 2020.

What is the member eligibility criteria?

You need to check if your extras health cover includes the relevant treatment type. For example, you must have cover for Physiotherapy if you wish to claim for Physiotherapy telehealth treatment. You also need to have satisfied any relevant waiting periods and not reached your annual limit for the relevant treatment type for HBF benefits to be payable.

To find out if you’re eligible to receive benefits for certain telehealth treatments or to check what your limits are, you can go to myHBF or call us on 133 423. Out of pocket costs are likely to apply.

Learn more about HBF health insurance.

How would I claim for my telehealth treatment?

You can submit your invoice via the HBF app or myHBF.

Am I covered?

To find out if you’re eligible to receive benefits for certain telehealth treatments or to check what your limits are, you can go to myHBF or call us on 133 423 for a benefit quote. Out of pocket costs are likely to apply.

Coverage details

Eligible members may receive HBF benefits for the treatments specified, and in the circumstances described, in the table below. Please see Frequently Asked Questions for member eligibility criteria.

For HBF benefits to be payable, the treatment must be delivered by an HBF Approved Provider and Medicare benefits must not be payable for the treatment. The telehealth treatment must also be delivered via synchronous communication (i.e. in real time).

Normal waiting periods, benefits, limits and exclusions apply. Some additional exclusions (including group consults and classes) also apply. Out of pocket costs are likely to apply.

Service Category
Required Delivery Method
Treatments for which HBF benefits are payable
Session Duration
  • Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
Phone or Video conference
  • Individual treatments
  • Couples treatments
  • Family treatments
  • Please note: No benefits are payable for non-family group treatments

  • At least 30 minutes
  • Physiotherapy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy/Pathology
  • Podiatry
Video conference
  • Individual treatments
  • Please note: No benefits are payable for group consults or classes
  • At least 45 minutes for an initial consultation/assessment
  • At least 30 minutes for a subsequent consultation/treatment (or at least 20 minutes if Occupational Therapy)
  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition
Phone or video conference
  • Individual treatments
  • Please note: No benefits are payable for group consults or classes
  • At least 45 minutes for an initial consultation/assessment
  • At least 30 minutes for a subsequent consultation/treatment

Information for Providers

The following information is correct as at Friday 3 July 2020 and is subject to change at any time and without notice. If and when changes occur, this page will be updated.

Account requirements

In addition to account requirements outlined in the HBF Approved Provider Terms & Conditions, the account must clearly indicate:

  • Required Delivery Method – i.e. phone call or video conference
  • Treatment start and end times (e.g. 1pm to 1.30pm)
  • Duration (e.g. 30 minutes)

HBF staff and systems will be utilising the following item numbers and descriptions.

Clinical Psychology
Y701
Individual assessment telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
Y801
Individual treatment and management telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
Y301
Couple or family treatment telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
Psychology
SPSTE
Individual consultation telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
SPSFM
Couple or family treatment telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
Physiotherapy
T811
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via video
T812
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via video
Exercise Physiology
U710
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via video
U712
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via video
Occupational Therapy
H601
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via video
H602
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via video
H603
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth 20-30 minutes
20-30 minutes via video
Podiatry
F901
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via video
F902
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via video
Speech Therapy/Pathology
S501
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via video
S502
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth 30-45 minutes
30-45 minutes via video
S503
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth >45 minutes
Over 45 minutes via video
Dietetics
E301
Individual Initial Assessment Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via phone or video
E302
Individual Subsequent Treatment Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video
Nutrition
NUTR4
Initial Consult Telehealth
At least 45 minutes via phone or video
NUTR5
Subsequent Consult Telehealth
At least 30 minutes via phone or video

Service delivery requirements

The choice to use particular telehealth technologies rests with individual providers and is dependent on suitability for individual patients. Telehealth treatment must only be provided where clinically necessary to do so in order for HBF benefits to be payable. Providers should be mindful of the likelihood of foreseeable limitations when using technology and have procedures in place for detecting, diagnosing and fixing equipment problems.

Providers should also ensure that there are additional procedures in place for conducting the consultation ensuring that the basic requirements of telehealth are met. This also should include the clinical aspects of privacy, confidentiality, patient consent and risk management.

Telehealth treatment must be delivered in accordance with the relevant association and/or industry guidelines.

HBF does not require the member to be undergoing an existing course of treatment or to have an existing relationship with the provider to be eligible for telehealth benefits. HBF does not require telehealth treatment to be recommended by the member’s GP.

HBF benefits for telehealth treatment are only payable where the treatment is delivered via synchronous communication (i.e. in real time).

Questions?

Contact the HBF Ancillary Provider Relations team via ancillaryproviders@hbf.com.au.