The Australian Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced on the 13th October 2017 that from 2019 private health insurance will no longer cover the following natural therapies:
Naturopathy, Herbalism, Homeopathy as well as Alexander Technique, Aromatherapy, Bowen Therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, Iridology, Kinesiology, Pilates, Reflexology, Rolfing, Shiatsu, Tai Chi and Yoga
Naturopathy, Herbalism (Western Herbal Medicine) and Homeopathy have been part of private health insurance extras cover since early 2000 and the other natural therapies have been added to extras cover in more recent times.
As many as 55% Australians use natural therapies as part of their primary healthcare and extras cover under private health insurance.
The focus of natural therapies is preventative healthcare and improving and maintenance of wellness. This focus results in many Australians healthcare cost not impacting on the government health budget and health system.
The government claims that removing natural therapies will contribute to reducing private health insurance premium price increases although no figures on any savings have been published by the government or what premium price increases it proposes to deliver to Australians.
The decision by the government is false economy; it will adversely impact the health system, restrict the health services available to Australians with private health insurance cover, and effectively removes preventative healthcare and wellness maintenance for many Australians.
Your support is needed to reverse the decision by a short-sighted government who has lost focus on preventative healthcare and wellness maintenance for Australians.