Yes, extras health insurance policies will typically have annual limits on how much you can claim, which vary depending on your policy. For example, your policy may have coverage limits of $200-$700 to spend on chiropractic health care every year.
Some policies may also group particular services (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, remedial massage) together under one benefit, and the amount you can claim for chiropractic will be subject to this ‘group limit’. For example, you may have a maximum of $500 to claim over the year on any therapies in the group.
If you’re looking for cover with adequate chiropractic care rebates, you should look for a health insurance policy that offers higher limits for chiropractic than other policies, as well as affordable premiums.
If you’re taking out a new extras policy or upgrading your current one, you may have to serve a waiting period before you can claim chiropractic on your health insurance. The waiting period for chiropractic is generally two months, but this can vary depending on your policy.
When signing up for a new extras health insurance policy, some health funds may have promotions that waive the shorter waiting periods, such as two and six months, allowing you to claim immediately.
Your health fund may outline particular requirements that you need to meet to claim for chiropractic services. For example, health funds may have a condition that you can only claim chiropractic sessions if your treatment is carried out by an approved chiropractor that is recognised by the health fund.
Another condition your health fund may impose is that your chiropractic treatment needs to be deemed medically necessary by a doctor to be covered. This condition means you might not be covered if you go to a chiropractor simply because you feel like getting a back crack.
Your policy brochure will contain more information about such conditions or requirements, so make sure you read this before you sign up to know what you’re covered for.
Chiropractors in Australia need to register through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA); you can search the AHPRA database to see if your chiropractor is registered. It may also be a good idea to read reviews of a chiropractor to see how others rated their treatment.
Generally speaking, Medicare doesn’t usually bulk bill or cover chiropractic under the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS). However, if you’ve had a terminal or chronic condition for six months or longer, you may be eligible for a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangements (TCA).4
With this care plan, you’ll have access to Chronic Disease Management (CDM) items under Medicare. Upon referral, you’ll be eligible to receive Medicare rebates for five individual visits to an allied health professional (e.g. chiropractor) per calendar year. If you aren’t eligible for this care plan, you can still go to a chiropractor without health insurance, but you’ll have to pay the full out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare can also help pay for examinations like X-rays, which you can use in conjunction with chiropractic services.
1 Victoria State Government – BetterHealth Channel: Chiropractic, Chiropractic treatments. Accessed March 2023.
2 Healthdirect – Chiropractors: what conditions do chiropractors treat? Accessed March 2023.
3 Comcare – Rates for medical and allied health treatment. Averaged across Australia for comparable services. March 2023.
4 Australian Government Department of Health – Chronic Disease Management: Provider Information. Accessed March 2023.