Fitting in a healthy lifestyle is tricky nowadays. Many of us focus on being our best selves – physically and mentally, but we’re awfully harsh critics when we fail to live up to our own expectations.
It’s for this reason that Australians should take any ‘leg up’ they can find – whether that’s cheap exercise classes, or a free meal plan. So, how can your health insurer help? Well, it could save you hundreds of dollars on gym membership fees…
What’s covered by health insurance?
Many of us take out health insurance for good reasons. Perhaps it’s for obstetrics cover when you’re having kids. For others, it’s an extras policy to get new pairs of glasses each year.
You may not be aware, but some insurance policies – specifically, extras policies – cover memberships to health and lifestyle programs, such as:
- Gym memberships
- Exercise class memberships (e.g. yoga, swimming, Pilates)
- Skin cancer screenings
- Health assessments
- Weight management programs
- Quit smoking programs
- Access to nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and more.
Some of you may ask, “Why do insurers offer this?” It’s simple: if you’re healthier, you’ll claim less often on your policy. When you don’t claim, the insurer doesn’t have to spend any money towards a claim. Everybody wins!
How much can you claim back?
You’ll be able to claim a certain amount per year on these lifestyle product. This may total little more than a few hundred dollars, but many would consider that worth it over the long term. To put it in perspective, however, one health fund on ComparetheMarket.com.au offers a $250 annual limit on lifestyle product benefits.1 The amount you can claim should be outlined in your policy brochure.
“(Your) refund is dependent on the level of cover held … Holding private health insurance does not ensure eligibility for a refund for fitness service.” – Fitness.org.au
You should be aware that some funds have limits and outright exclusions on this type of cover.
- In the case of several major funds, you’ll be able to access these rebates if a GP/Physio/Healthcare Physician signs a health management form, usually provided by your insurer.
- Gyms must be be recognised by your particular insurer. “Several funds don’t recognise personal training services, or 24 hour fitness centre memberships,“ Fitness.org.au states, for example.
Check with your insurer to see which memberships you can claim for.
Time to compare?
There’s plenty of great reasons to get health insurance – cheaper gym memberships is just one more. If you’re ready to track down one of these products and make a change in your life, compare australian polices or give us a ring. We’re eager to help out any way we can.
- Quote carried out on ComparetheMarket.com.au on 13/04/2016. Cover for single male, living in QLD, cover type: extras only.