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Changes to Private Health Insurance

The Coalition Government has announced a wide ranging package of reforms to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable for Australians. We know that every dollar matters to Australian families and these reforms will get better value for families and make policies easier to understand.

Private health insurance is an essential and valuable part of the Australia’s health system.

From 2019, private health insurance will no longer cover the following natural therapies: Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga.

Consumers can still choose to access these services, but they will not be able to claim benefits from their insurer. This change takes effect from 1 April 2019.

A review undertaken by the former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer found there is no clear evidence demonstrating the efficacy of the above natural therapies. Removing coverage for the listed natural therapies will ensure taxpayer funds are expended appropriately and not directed to therapies lacking evidence.

Around 55 per cent of the Australian population is covered by general treatment (extras) insurance. Removing coverage for the listed natural therapies will remove costs from the system and contribute to reducing private health insurance premium growth.