Apple users can now access the health insurance cards given to Australians as part of their Health Insurance Fund or HIP membership through the Apple Pay System.

The insurance cards are traditionally swiped through the HICAPS machine, an all-in-one payment and claiming system for healthcare businesses. Now, a digital version is available for Australian iPhone users.

Digital Health Insurance Cards Now Accessible Through Apple Pay

Apple announced that the digital health insurance cards would support major insurers. Some of the insurers that the tech giant had partnered with are Bupa, NIB, Medibank, and GU Health. The Hospitals Benefit Fund or HBP will be added in August.

The digital cards will allow users to claim their medical insurance money from their provider. You can add the card to the Apple Pay function within Apple Watches and iPhones, according to 9to5 Mac.

Users can have the digital cards swiped at the cash register of a hospital or clinic, removing the need to carry the physical card.

Also Read: Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet: Which is the better mobile payment system?

Users will need to download their health insurance app to add the health care card, after which they can simply tap to add their card to Apple Pay. 

The National Australia Bank, which owns HICAPS, confirmed its partnership with Apple. The NAB stated that Australian customers can claim their health insurance by holding their Apple Watch or iPhone near any HICAPS station in the country.

Users can also pay for gap payments by using Apple Pay, according to IT News.

Jennifer Bailey, the vice president of Apple Pay internet service, said the health insurance market in Australia is at its peak, as it covers more than 60% of the market.

This is why they believe that Australia is a strong market for Apple Pay services, and the current pandemic has increased the need for contactless transactions.

Apple is the first tech company to add health insurance cards into their system as Samsung and Google have yet to do the same thing, according to Apple Insider.

Apple is working to cement its position in the cashless payments industry in Australia. Currently, Apple Pay has teamed up with more than 100 establishments, including the National Australia Bank, niche payment providers, retailers, corporates, and buy-now-pay-later providers.

The managing director at Bupa, Emily Amos, said that their customers demanded a change in the payment system.

Apple users in Australia are using their Apple Watch and iPhone to purchase groceries, ride public transport, and pay for their meals at restaurants. Now they are expecting to use their Apple products to claim and pay for health insurance.

Amos added that digital membership cards accessed through Apple Pay also benefit the health insurance firms because it reduces the amount of paper and plastic used in the process, and digital access is safer and faster.

Apple Pay in the United States

Meanwhile, Apple is still working on expanding its Apple Pay services in the United States. Although Americans can't use the service to pay for insurance just yet, they can ride public transportation in major cities just by tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch.

In 2019, Apple partnered up with Express Transit so that Apple customers can access the subway using Apple products.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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