Homeopathy, naturopathy struck off private insurance list

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The government will be removing private health insurance subsidies from a range of natural therapies

As part of the Federal government’s overhaul of the private health insurance system, cover for some natural therapies will now be removed from all private health insurance products.

The therapies that will no longer be covered include: Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga.

The government says that while consumers can still choose to access these services, they will no longer be able to claim benefits from their insurer 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 listed natural therapies,” it says in a statement.

“Removing coverage for the listed natural therapies will ensure taxpayer funds are expended appropriately and not directed to therapies lacking evidence.

“Around 55% 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.”

Under these changes, it will be illegal for health funds to include the therapies in their coverage, which is generally found in the ‘extras’ package, says Australian Skeptics.

However, a spokesperson for the Department told Australian Skeptics that funds might end up offering vouchers for such therapies, but they cannot include them in health insurance coverage packages.

Australian Skeptics also points out that chiropractic, acupuncture and reiki are not listed among the binned therapies.

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  1. Willy the chemist

    About time.

  2. Tim Mendham

    The Dept of Health told Australian Skeptics that Reiki not appearing in the list of therapies to be binned was apparently an oversight. The Minister has mentioned it when talking about the change, so it should have been included.

  3. Great (and long overdue!)-latest private health insurance reforms-no more rebates for homeopathy, irridology and other shonky “jungle juice”so-called treatments-long overdue and will help a little to get less wastage and better health outcomes for our money, and, hopefully, also help to discourage the risk of serious undiagnosed illnesses being treating in the absence of proper medical care, with potential disastrous outcomes!

  4. Zuleika March

    My naturopath picked up on my low iron levels before the doctors even after blood tests as a child. My mums diabetes is completely under control with the help of a naturopath. She is taking all herbal tablets over taking medicated tablets and her levels are always normal since she was diagnosed. The medicated tablets had horrible side effects for her and kept her levels going up and down. The herbal/natural medication prescribed by the natropath no side effects and perfect levels.

    • Jarrod McMaugh


      • Zuleika March

        Obviously never tried natural medicines by a great naturopath who actually knows what is right. Iridology told me if i was carrying male or female in all my pregnancies before an ultrasound can pick it up. Excellent help with sciatica when doctors suggest pain killers. Adjusting my balance. So many benefits from naturopathy for everyone.

        • Jarrod McMaugh


          • Anonymum

            I wouldn’t have my son if it hadn’t been for my amazing naturopath who found I had a low functioning thyroid (among other things) and got my levels right. The ‘Doctors’ (gynecological specialist actually) told me that IVF was my ‘only option’. NOPE! Naturopathy did it ‘naturally’ (and within 3 months) for me and I couldn’t be more thankful.

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