Health insurance for podiatry

Medicare won’t fully cover you, but you can get health insurance for podiatry to lower the overall costs - compare plans from as little as $23 per week.

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What you need to know

  • In general, podiatry services are not covered by Medicare. But some services can be accessed under enhanced primary care plans, such as for chronic conditions like osteoarthritis.
  • A number of private health policies will help with the cost of in-hospital podiatric services, including accommodation and some prostheses costs. Cheaper policies include some bronze plus and silver plans.
  • For general podiatry, an extras policy can cover you for around $60 a month.

Compare podiatry health insurance policies

Below you'll find a selection of policies* from Finder partners that include podiatry. Each comes with a 2-month waiting period, and different conditions for orthotics.

Name Product Podiatry cover Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
Qantas Bronze Hospital Plus
HCF Hospital Bronze Plus
ahm core bronze plus
Medibank Silver Everyday
Peoplecare Silver Hospital

Compare up to 4 providers

*Quotes are based on a single person with a $500 excess, earning less than $90,000 yearly and living in Sydney.

What is podiatry surgery?

Podiatry surgery involves the surgical treatment of conditions and issues affecting the foot and ankle in hospital. Surgeries are wide-ranging and some are more complex than others. Podiatrists perform surgery on bone, joint, ligament, tendon and muscle problems of the foot or ankle.

What are my options for meeting the cost of podiatry treatment?

Podiatric surgery is performed in private practice, community health centres, day surgery centres and some private and public hospitals within Australia. To find adequate cover from a health fund, look for:

Your fund offers rebates for aspects of surgical services provided by podiatrists aligned to the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons (ACPS). These rebates cover theatre fees, bed stays in private hospitals and the costs of implantable prostheses such as pins, screws and plates.

Medicare vs Private Health insurance

Professional fees of medical practitioners undertaking foot surgeries are rebated under the Medicare system, but they aren’t applicable to podiatric surgery. Medicare will pay a percentage of your podiatry fees if you have a referral from your GP and have been put on an Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Plan.

However, to be eligible you typically have to fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are a chronically ill patient.
  • You have diabetes or suffer from vascular disease.

Medicare rebates may apply only to a consultation fee in some cases; any additional services incur an out-of-pocket expense. That's why many people opt for private health insurance - which can help with things like footwear modifications and orthotics - to help them manage the overall cost of their treatments.

What does podiatry surgery involve?

Surgery often involves going under general anaesthesia. While many are performed as day case surgeries, overnight stay is sometimes necessary.

Podiatrists may perform surgery for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Structural deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, flat foot or high arched foot.
    • Bone spurs
    • Heel pain
    • Nerve and tendon problems
    • Nail conditions
    • Trauma related injuries, such as fractures and breaks.

How long is the recovery time for Podiatry Surgery?

In general, you can expect to spend around 6-8 weeks in a cast or special post-op shoe after surgery. However, recovery time varies massively. A simple ingrown toe procedure can have you back to normal in a couple of weeks.

For more complicated procedures, such as rearfoot surgery, you may be required to keep pressure off the foot for as long as two months. Recovery can take around 6 months, with intense physical therapy sometimes necessary. Depending on the severity of your condition then, depends on the level of cover you will need.

How is podiatry covered outside of the hospital?

While podiatry surgery is covered under your hospital policy, podiatry care can be covered in a comprehensive extras plan.
Cover can be found on a mid-ranging or a high-level policy, such as gold. But with this, you'll receive a rebate on podiatry appointments outside of the hospital.

For anyone with diabetes or elderly individuals, it's really important you take care of your feet. It could even prevent you from needing surgery in the long run. That's why it can be important to have both podiatry and podiatry surgery cover.

Compare more health insurance options for podiatry

Use this free tool to see more options from Australian health funds. On the results screen simply tick 'Refine Search' then select your treatments to see a side by side comparison.

Picture: Shutterstock

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