Health insurance extras rebates under threat

4 Feb 2018

 

 

Did you know that in 2019 the government will be removing the health fund rebate from many natural therapies? Our modalities such as Remedial Massage, Myotherapy, Dry Needling and Active Release Techniques aren't on this list to be removed but they are considered natural therapies by the government. To us this sets a precedent that they will remove any modalities they see fit in removing to save money and generate massive profits. There are many other things that have been removed as well outside of natural therapies such as some hospital coverage, prosthetics and some exercise therapies. It appears that the health funds and government aren't listening to the public, as millions of clients each year seek these natural therapies to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) is urging clients to send in their positive stories to the government. This way we can show them that many people are getting a lot our of natural therapies and sway them to keep natural therapies safe and claimable. Click here to go to ATMS website for further info and to send your story.

 

Our passion at Muscle Therapy Australia is in helping people get out of pain, especially the chronic conditions where the client has seen many people and had no success. We are also passionate about raising the standard in the industry and letting the government and Health Funds know what we do and how successful it is. 


A common story we hear around the clinic is that people have seen many medical practitioners including Physios and no one has been able to help. Then they come to us and we help them, often very quickly. And we also seem to know more about the condition the client has than their GP or specialist. It has always baffled me that our modalities such as Remedial Massage, Dry needling, Active Release Techniques and Myotherapy are considered Natural Therapies and you don't get as much coverage from your health fund. Even though this is the very treatment that has helped the client out of pain and away from the specialists, who generally only have surgery and injections as their options. Some of these surgeries, particularly spinal and knee surgeries, have a very poor evidence base, yet are continued to be carried out every day without question. The health funds are still covering this "evidence based" practise. These procedures cost Medicare and the tax payer billions of dollars every year. The government is talking about cutting money from Medicare and Health Insurance. They should be looking here at the high expense procedures rather than the preventative natural therapies. 

 

 With preventative treatment this keeps people out of hospital and away from GPs therefore saving millions/billions of dollars. When we asked a health fund as to why the health funds give so little for our therapies we were told they knew that people would use them. This contempt for their customers shows the amount they actually care about your health.  Remember that these health funds are insurance companies and have a vested interest in you not using your health fund as this means they need to pay you out of their precious billion dollar profits.  Insurance companies have huge overheads and need millions of dollars to run. So they don't want their customers wasting all of the insurance money on things they will actually use. 

 

The unfortunate thing is that natural health care practitioners have dedicated their lives to helping people with health problems whereas the insurance companies are there to make huge profits for their shareholders. The practitioners are the ones who are punished at the cost of insurance company profits and government savings.

 

Remember that extras coverage can be a big expense when it comes to your health insurance. If you don't use much of it then the Health Fund will just be taking your money. It's like the health fund saying to you: "give me $1200 and I'll give you $500 back. Sounds like a good deal, right?" Wrong! If you really want a health fund where you can spend your extras money on anything you want to an agreed dollar amount then AHM is your only option. Note that we don't get kick backs or aren't sponsored by AHM. It is really the only true value extras coverage where if you want to spend $1000 on Remedial Massage then you can. Get it fast as they will soon realise that people will use it and take it down. 

 

So in closing we urge you to have your voice heard and go to the ATMS website and contact your member to let them know that you support Natural Therapies and that you want to be able to claim these on your health fund. 

 

 

References:

- 'Dangerous path': Medicare 'seriously threatened' by private health insurance

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/dangerous-path-medicare-seriously-threatened-by-private-health-insurance-20170419-gvnpyj.html

- 'People are getting angry': Health funds accused of 'obscene' profits

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/people-are-getting-angry-health-funds-accused-of-obscene-profits-20170517-gw766p.html

- When surgery is just a stitch up https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/20/when-surgery-is-just-a-stitch-up-placebo-effect

 

 

 

 

 

 

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