2 minute read
15 May 2020
- Telehealth appointments available where possible
- Additional hygiene practices adopted for face-to-face appointments
- Unique Rollover Benefit allows you to use unused Annual Maximums in following calendar year
There has been significant misreporting by the media and confusion in relation to how Extras can be accessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some services may be temporarily restricted due to social distancing guidelines, many providers remain operational with increased hygiene practices, and others have adapted to an online delivery model.
Our data to date indicates that while claims for physiotherapy consultations dipped following the announcement of restrictions in March, from mid-April numbers were increasing and by the end of April they were close to 2019 claiming averages - showing just how swiftly providers and patients alike have adapted to the new environment.
So, how can you safely attend an appointment?
Social distancing measures have significantly impacted the ability of some clinicians to provide face-to-face appointments. Where permissible, some services – including psychology, dietary, speech therapy, occupational therapy and some forms of physiotherapy – have introduced telehealth appointments (over video calls) to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Telehealth appointments are only provided when it is both safe and clinically appropriate to do so, so please check with your practitioner directly to find out whether this is a service suitable for your circumstances. For information about eligibility for telehealth services, please call us 1300 703 703.
Safe face-to-face consults
Many clinics have adopted increased hygiene practices in order to continue providing face-to-face appointments where possible. These additional measures may include staggering appointments, increasing ventilation, wiping EFTPOS machines after each transaction, refusing cash payments, not sharing pens, and making hand sanitiser readily available.
You may have the choice to have either a face-to-face or telehealth appointment depending on your circumstances. Speak to your practitioner to find out more.
In March, dental treatments were strictly limited to emergency care, but those restrictions have now been relaxed to allow dentists to perform examinations, basic fillings & extractions, cleaning with hand instruments, and fitting braces or dentures.
While this is good news, it will be some time before it is business as usual at the dentist so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene during this time. Brush your teeth and gums morning and night and reduce consumption of sugary foods and drinks.
One of the best advantages Emergency Services Health members have over members of other health funds is the ability to access our Rollover Benefit. This allows members to roll over any unused Annual Maximums from one calendar year to the next on most Extras services*. This means eligible members who find they aren’t able to claim their full Annual Maximum due to the impact of COVID-19, will retain access to those benefits in the next calendar year.
No one wants to live with pain or discomfort. If you need to access Extras services speak to your provider about whether a telehealth appointment is right for you, or whether you can attend a face-to-face appointment. If you have any questions about our Rollover Benefit or what services are eligible to receive benefits for telehealth consults please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help.
*Subject to waiting periods and other conditions.