From today major health insurance cards in Australia can be added to your Apple Wallet for easy tap and go access to your health-care rebate.

Medibank, Bupa, NIB and GU Health are all making their membership cards available in the Apple Wallet, with HBF joining in early August.

Australia’s addition of health insurance cards to Apple Pay is a world first – reinforcing out position as leaders in contactless around the world.

Having setup my own Medibank card this morning, you also get the option to automatically select your Health Card when you present it at a “HICAPS” terminal at your health care provider.

Bupa’s Emily Amos said there was customer demand for this innovation “We know our customers are using iPhone and Apple Watch to buy groceries, tap on to public transport and pay for their morning coffees, so it’s no surprise that they now expect to be able to make their Bupa claims with a quick tap of their device,”

“We’re always looking to enhance our products and services so they are both good for our customers and good for our planet. With Bupa digital membership cards now available in Apple Wallet, we’re pleased to be reducing the amount of paper and plastic used in the claiming process, while also providing a secure way to make a claim and pay,” she added.

Medibank’s Rob Deeming called this one of the biggest changes to the health claims experience since the introduction of HICAPS 20 years ago. “We are proud to be offering our customers the choice of using a digital card to make claims via Apple Wallet,” Mr Deeming said.

“This addition represents a step change in convenience and flexibility for Medibank customers. And, we are proud to be able to directly support a growing number of customers who want the option to go plastic card free.”

Over at NIB, Brendan Mills, saw this as another step in the digital transformation of health insurance “We’re seeing more and more members using technology to connect with us, whether that’s submitting a claim or asking a question about their policy so making our membership cards available in a digital format was a no brainer,”

“Now they can have their member card handy wherever they go, making it even easier for them to claim by removing the need to upload receipts or send claims forms to us via mail,” he added.

At the industry level, HICAPS – the terminal provider and back end system connecting your doctor or health care professional with insurers – also noted the rapid digital innovation.

Tania Motton from NAB, who run the HICAPS terminals said: “We’re excited to be able to offer health practitioners the ability to accept digital health insurance membership cards through iPhone and Apple Watch at all HICAPS terminals across Australia. 

“Digital technology is rapidly changing the way merchants receive payments – with more customers choosing contactless over cash. This is an exciting enhancement that will further support those who prefer a more digital experience. 

“Claims made using this method help reduce the time spent on manual processing for practitioners due to forgotten plastic cards, while putting money back in customers’ bank accounts quicker,” said Ms Motton.

To add your health care card, you need your health insurance app, through which you can simply tap to add your card to Apple Wallet.