Announcement: private health insurance rebates for remedial massage
Health Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt, will be announcing a raft of sweeping reforms to private health insurance later today. Among the reforms, Minister Hunt will announce the removal of the government rebate on natural therapies from 1 April 2019. At this stage, we assume that this includes the removal of rebates for remedial massage but we await the formal announcement to be completely certain.
Please be aware that, although this news sounds pretty alarming, at this stage it is unclear how this will impact private health insurance rebates for massage therapy. AMT is in the process of seeking clarification from the funds on whether they will continue to include remedial massage within extras cover packages. It is conceivable, given ongoing informal dialogue with fund representatives, that many funds will continue to include rebates for remedial massage therapy in some extras packages because they understand that it is an attractive value proposition for their members, particularly the younger demographic that these reforms are targetting.
AMT has sent the following email to all the funds:
“As you are aware, the health minister will be announcing a raft of sweeping health insurance reforms today. Among those reforms is the removal of the government rebate on natural therapies such as remedial massage therapy.
Obviously, this news will be distressing to the large number of AMT members who are health fund providers of remedial massage.
Could you please clarify your position on the ongoing provision of health fund benefits for remedial massage therapy after the April 2019 removal of government subsidies?”
We will keep you updated as news comes to hand.