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Natural Therapies and Private Health
Some natural therapies no longer receive the private health insurance rebate as part of a general treatment policy.
Consumers will still be able to choose to access these natural therapies outside the private health insurance system.
These changes have been made because a review chaired by the former Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer found there is no clear evidence demonstrating the efficacy of the excluded natural therapies. This review was informed by an evaluation of the evidence undertaken by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The NHMRC was tasked with reviewing scientific literature examining the effectiveness and, where available, the safety and cost effectiveness of 17 natural therapies.
Changing coverage for the excluded natural therapies will ensure taxpayer funds are spent appropriately and are not directed to therapies that do not demonstrate evidence of clinical efficacy.
Around 54 per cent of the Australian population is covered by general treatment (extras) insurance. Changing coverage for the excluded natural therapies removes costs from the system and contributes to reducing private health insurance premium growth.