West Australian based health insurer HIF is the first to offer benefits for dental consultations delivered by telephone or video conference (teledentistry), during the COVID-19 crisis.
HIF Managing Director Graeme Gibson said benefits will be paid to members during the difficult Coronavirus period when many people can’t get direct access to important treatment they would normally need face to face. This includes teledentistry for pain and toothache, broken or loose teeth, trauma, orthodontics and prosthodontics.
“These benefits will apply to services delivered from April 14 until 30 June 2020 and will be reviewed again to see if this temporary period of cover needs to be extended.
“We’re doing this because it’s important that our members continue to have access to their ancillary providers during this time. Telehealth consultations can be an effective and efficient temporary alternative to face-to-face consultations, enabling our Members to access services and receive benefits for a range of ancillary modalities including psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy as well as some others – and now includes dental services.”
Mr Gibson said HIF remained focused on supporting members during the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring they’re able to access services they need virtually.
“If someone is in pain with a severe toothache or has a broken tooth and needs urgent dental treatment, accessing their dentist through teledentistry can make a significantly positive difference to the outcome.
“Some members may need to contact their orthodontist if they have problems, while others with dentures may also need treatment. Now they can get the assistance they need via a convenient tele-dentistry consultation and receive benefits from their Extras cover.”
The Australian Dental Association of WA (ADAWA) commended HIF for its proactivity and sensible approach to its members’ dental needs.
“The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted all professions, industry and the community,” ADAWA CEO Dr David Hallett said.
“Access to dental services is essential. Sadly, this current crisis has severely impacted that access to your dentist. Teledentistry is just one small way of assisting patients connect with their dentist at this time.
“ADAWA congratulates HIF for being the first private health insurance fund in Australia to understand the benefits teledentistry will potentially have for their members.”
HIF said it was pleased to be able to continue to deliver great value for money for its members, particularly during these challenging times.
These arrangements will be reviewed on 30 June 2020, and terms and conditions apply.
During this period, HIF will also cover some other Extras services via appropriate telehealth channels. This includes physiotherapy, psychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy and dietetics.
Media contact: Donna Watson, LastSay Communications, 0419 901229 or firstname.lastname@example.org