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All medicine has an origin in nature, even if it’s synthesised in a laboratory. Many Australians dabble in both conventional medicine and natural alternatives. Did you know that many such natural therapies can be claimed on some private health insurance policies?

Let’s take a look at what’s available.

Which natural therapies are covered under private health insurance?

If you take out an extras policy, you may be able to claim on a wealth of benefits, such as:

  • Acupuncture. Treatment from a recognised acupuncturist involving the insertion of small needles into the body’s pressure points to stimulate nerves and improve health.
  • Chiropractic care. Treatment from a recognised chiropractor to address musculoskeletal issues using spinal adjustments.
  • Naturopathy. Treatment from a recognised naturopath using non-invasive techniques such as massage, nutrition and herbal medicine to restore wellbeing. Reportedly beneficial for sufferers of stress, fatigue, digestive complaints, etc.
  • Remedial massage therapy. Treatment from recognised massage therapists using deep massage to treat injury.

What’s available to you will vary based on your health fund and level of cover, but some insurers also include things like aromatherapy, Chinese & Western Herbal Medicine, exercise physiology, herbalism, homeopathy, kinesiology, and reflexology.

Are there any out of pocket expenses?

The difference between what your health practitioner charges, and what your health fund and Medicare pays for a particular benefit is called a gap payment – also called an out of pocket expense.

There are probably going to be some out of pocket costs for your natural therapy treatments. You’ll need to check your policy brochure to check how much your fund allows you to claim on these therapies.

Typical waiting periods and annual limits

Looking at the ComparetheMarket.com.au website, we did a spot check to see how long some Aussies had to wait before they could claim on natural therapy benefits. Most of the policies we looked at had waiting periods of 2 months. This will vary, depending on your level of cover and the fund you choose, but it’s good to know that coverage is available that won’t make you wait long before you can claim.

You should also keep in mind that waiting periods are waived when you switch providers if you had the same level of cover on your old policy, and already sat through the waiting periods before.

Is it time to get covered?

There’s more to health insurance than natural therapies cover. Your extras policy may cover the cost of your dental appointments, or a new pair of glasses – perhaps a set of orthotics for your shoes. With all these benefits, there’s no time to waste when you could be claiming! Compare private health insurance on our site.


  1. http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/howard-florey

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