Natural therapies and massage with private health insurance

Is remedial massage covered by private health insurance?

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Guide to natural therapies and massage with private health insurance

Updated 09 April 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

Why take out cover for massage and natural therapies?

Whether or not you need cover for massage and natural therapies ultimately depends on your own health needs and budget. However, there are a few things to think about if you’re considering cover:

  • The reason for the treatment. Remedial massage is specifically designed to treat various health conditions. If you’re just looking for a massage to help with stress relief, another type of massage might be more suitable.
  • How often you need treatment. You can only claim one treatment per day, and all extras covered by your policy are typically subject to annual limits. So, if you have an annual limit of $500 for massage therapies, that’s how much you can claim during the year.
  • Therapists’ qualifications. The therapist who treats you will have to be suitably qualified for your health fund to pay out any claim you’re looking to make. So, if you have a particular provider in mind, double-check their qualifications before taking out cover.

Choosing cover for massage and natural therapy

If you think cover for massage and natural therapies would be suitable for you, all that’s left to do is compare your options to find a policy that meets your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you browse:

  • Group limits. Some extras policies group certain services together with a shared limit to be used between them.
  • Preferred healthcare providers. Some insurers will have agreements with certain specialists known as ‘preferred providers’ with whom you may receive a higher rebate.
  • Waiting periods. When you take out cover, there’s typically a waiting period before you can claim on new or upgraded services. For extras cover, this can vary between health funds so keep an eye out for a lower waiting period.

Expert tips for choosing the right massage and natural therapy cover for you

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, has some tips for finding an extras policy that offers the massage and natural therapy cover you’re looking for.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Review the group limits on your policy

Remedial massage and natural therapies are often grouped with other services, meaning that you’re sharing one annual limit across multiple services. If these are services that you use regularly, you may find yourself using up this limit quickly and paying out of pocket until your limits reset. Policies with higher group limits or ones that don’t group your commonly-used services may suit you better.

Watch out for sub-limits

Some policies apply sub-limits to remedial massage and natural therapies. This means that while you may have a certain amount (e.g. $1,000) to spend on extras services including massages, you may only be able to spend a portion (e.g. $300) of that on massage treatments. If you use remedial massage and natural therapies regularly, you may want to consider policies with high or even no sub-limits.

Compare your options

Annual limits, group limits and rebates can vary significantly when it comes to remedial massage and natural therapies, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find the best option for your needs.

What massage and natural therapies does private health insurance cover?

The following are some of the most popular natural therapies in Australia that can be included on a private health insurance extras policy.

The services you can claim will vary based on your health fund and the level of extras cover you take out. Be sure to read through your policy brochure to understand what is and isn’t included and whether any limits apply.

Remedial massage


Chinese medicine

Private health insurance for massage and natural therapies

Which natural therapies are no longer covered by health insurance?

Out-of-pocket expenses for massage and natural therapies

Waiting periods and annual limits for natural therapies

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

Want to know more about health insurance?

1 Healthdirect, Remedial massage. Accessed March 2023.

2 Healthdirect, Acupuncture. Accessed March 2023.

3 Healthdirect, Chinese traditional medicine. Accessed March 2023.

4, Natural therapies review 2019-20. Accessed March 2023.