Following the recent removal of natural therapy rebates, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced the Government will commission a review into natural therapy rebates. Due to recent Government reforms, customers can no longer claim for many natural therapies through their private health insurer. In response, the natural therapies industry didn’t agree with the recent reforms. However Mr Hunt’s announcement does give new hope to natural therapy lovers.
What Changed for Natural Therapy Rebates?
Under new reforms, commencing 1 April, 2019, customers can no longer claim rebates for certain natural therapies. Now the following types of treatment are excluded.
- Bowen therapy
- Buteyko, Feldenkrais and Alexander technique
- Western herbalism
- Homeopathy and iridology
- Kinesiology and reflexology
- Pilates and yoga
- Rolfing and shiatsu
- Tai chi
Following a review by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) came the removal of rebates for these therapies. The review found there wasn’t enough evidence to indicate these therapies provided a real clinical benefit. Therefore, the Government decided that taxpayers should not be funding such treatments.
The Natural Therapy Rebates Review
After significant campaigning by the natural therapies industry the Health Minister announced the Government will commission a review of this decision. The review will assess further evidence and seek public consultation regarding natural therapies. The goal of the review is to decide whether certain natural therapies should be subsidised through private health insurance rebates.
Mr Charles Wurf, the CEO of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society (ATMS), has praised the new review as he has been campaigning for over a year against the removal of natural therapy rebates.
Following the Government’s announcement, Mr Wurf said, “ATMS will work closely with the NHMRC and continue to support and promote the return of natural medicine therapies to private health insurance.”
Missing Something from Your Health Insurance?
The recent private health insurance reforms provide a great opportunity for customers to save money. Make sure you understand what you’re covered for, and shop around today. Billy Sumo can’t bring back the natural therapy rebates, but he can certainly find you the best health insurance deal around!