Gym workout group

Health insurance gym benefits

Many health funds offer gym membership discounts and rebates

Extras cover often pays benefits towards a gym membership, yoga, and even massage. You can generally apply for a discount on a yearly membership or receive a refund back.

Simply look for diet and lifestyle limits when searching for an extras policy.

One of the little-known benefits of having extras cover is that many funds cover some of the costs associated with gym memberships. Depending on who you have your extras cover with, you may be able to claim roughly $200 towards the cost of gym memberships per year.

Alternatively, many funds have agreements with gyms and can provide you with access to memberships at a discounted rate. For example, ahm has a health insurance and gym membership benefit that provides its customers with a 10% discount when they take out a new membership with Fitness First. They'll also give you rebates on exercise classes with a doctors note.

Compare extras cover

Compare over 30 Australian health funds, on your results page simply tick 'diet and lifestyle products' to see the policies which include health rebates.

Which Australian health funds offer gym membership rebates?

When you're looking to see if health insurers covers the gym, it can sometimes be called 'health improvement'. See below an example from one of finders partners - ahm (by Medibank) - when you dig into the extras policies, there are lots of options for rebates available. Claiming your gym limit is easy, in this case - simply visit the doctor and get a referral note to get a refund from your insurer.

Policy Included treatments Per person limit Cost Per Week Go to site
Lifestyle Health Improvement

Physiotherapy

Diet and nutrition

$250

$350

$400

$11.45 Get Cover
Super Health Improvement

Physiotherapy

Diet and nutrition

$250

$600

$400

$18.40 Get Cover

*prices based on a single male living in NSW with the Australian Government Rebate. Always check extras for combined limits

More information about specific dental services

Health fund What health and lifestyle memberships are covered?
HIF health insurance HIF’s Healthy Lifestyle Cover allows you to claim a benefit on gym membership, providing it is registered with Fitness Australia, recognised by HIF and forms part of a personal health management plan that is recommended by a doctor.
health.com.au health insurance health.com.au covers offers cover for Health Maintenance programs that recommended as medically necessary by your doctor. These services can include weight management programs, gym memberships, pilates and yoga.
teachers health fund
  • Restricted health fund

Teachers Health Fund extras policies pay a benefit for gym membership, pilates and yoga. The annual benefit limit is $200 per person for Top Extras, $150 per person for Essential Extras and $150 per person or $300 per family for the StarterPak combined policy.

CBHS Health Fund
  • Restricted health fund

All CBHS extras policies contain a Wellness Benefit that covers gym membership with a combined annual benefit limit of $115 ($100 sub limit on personal trainers) as well as an $100 combined annual benefit limit for yoga and pilates.

AHM health insurance AHM's Super, Family and Lifestyle Extras allow you to claim for yoga, pilates and exercise classes undertaken at a gym or provided by a personal trainer. A doctors referral is required in all cases and must be renewed every 12 months.
Australian Unity Australian Unity’s Active Lifestyle Package covers a range of services including gym membership (50% of the cost, maximum of $160 a year), a personal trainer ($17.50 per session, maximum of $210 a year) and group exercise classes ($15 per class, maximum of $180 a year).
HCF health insurance HCF’s Platinum, Gold and Silver Plus Extras policies lets you claim on a range of approved health programs including weight management, exercise classes and gym membership fees. A doctor’s referral required is required to claim.
nib health insurance nib’s Healthier Lifestyle cover lets you claim on gym membership, personal training sessions, yoga and pilates classes if they are part of a health management program under the care of a GP. You can also claim on fees for weight management programs recognised by nib (no referral required).
Transport Health insurance Transport Health’s Health Management Programs include reimbursement for weight loss programs and quit smoking programs up to $300 per person and $600 per policy.
Health fund What health and lifestyle memberships are covered?
ahm AHM's Super, Family and Lifestyle Extras allow you to claim for yoga, pilates and exercise classes undertaken at a gym or provided by a personal trainer. A doctors referral is required in all cases and must be renewed every 12 months.
Australian Unity Australian Unity’s Active Lifestyle Package provides reimbursement for a range of services including gym membership (50% of the cost up to $160 a year), a personal trainer (up to $17.50 per session and up to $210 a year) and group exercise classes (up to $15 per class and up to $180 a year).
Bupa Living Well Programs are included in all of Bupa's extras policies and provide an annual maximum benefit of $100 per person to cover gym membership, pilates, select yoga courses and approved weight loss management treatments.
HBF HBF includes a Healthy Living Programs benefit in the Flexi Extras policies that include cover for activities such as pilates and yoga. Flexi Extras reimburse you 50%, Flexi Extras Mid 65% and Flexi Extras Plus 75%.
HCF HCF’s Platinum, Gold and Silver Plus Extras policies lets you claim on a range of approved health programs including weight management, exercise classes and gym membership fees. A doctor’s referral required is required to claim.
health.com.au health.com.au covers offers cover for Health Maintenance programs that recommended as medically necessary by your doctor. These services can include weight management programs, gym memberships, pilates and yoga.
hif HIF’s Healthy Lifestyle Cover allows you to claim a benefit on gym membership, providing it is registered with Fitness Australia, recognised by HIF and forms part of a personal health management plan that is recommended by a doctor.
Medibank Medibank offer a smartphone app service called GymBetter that allows you to pay as you go with single-visit passes at participating gyms. While GymBetter is available to anyone, Medibank members receive a 25% discount when they use the service.
nib nib’s Healthier Lifestyle cover lets you claim on gym membership, personal training sessions, yoga and pilates classes if they are part of a health management program under the care of a GP. You can also claim on fees for weight management programs recognised by nib.
Transport Health Transport Health’s Health Management Programs include reimbursement for weight loss programs and quit smoking programs up to $300 per person and $600 per policy.
CBHS Health Fund All of CBHS's extras policies contain a Wellness Benefit that covers gym membership (overall limit $115, $100 sub limit on personal trainers) as well as yoga and pilates ($100 overall limit for those two services).
rt health fund rt health fund's Premium and Smart Extras policies include cover for gym membership, with an annual limit of $100 per person or $200 per membership. A doctors recommendation is required to claim.
Teachers Health Fund Teachers Health Fund extras policies pay a benefit for gym membership, pilates and yoga. The annual benefit amount is $200 per person for Top Extras, $150 per person for Essential Extras and $150 per person or $300 per family for the StarterPak combined hospital + extras policy.

What do you need to claim for gym memberships?

Health insurance gym benefits differ with each fund's extras policies. According to the Private Health Insurance Act, a benefit can only be paid if it is part of a fitness program to treat an existing medical condition.

How much cover you receive for these health-related activities depends on your insurer, the level of cover you have with them and the benefit limits that apply to your policy. In order to claim you typically require:

  • An extras health insurance policy that includes reimbursement for gym membership.
  • A referral from a GP or health professional.
  • Receipts from your gym membership or fitness classes.

What health maintenance services can be covered?

Health maintenance programs contain a range of services covered by private health insurers which are designed to prevent illness and promote healthier living. Insurers reward participation in these programs, not so much out of the goodness of their hearts, but to reduce the likelihood of their members making claims – but either way, everybody wins.

Typical health maintenance services include:

How much can you claim back?

The amount you can save on gym membership with health insurance depends on the level of cover offered by your policy. Maximum benefit limits are typically only a few hundred dollars a year, so you would need to weigh up the benefits versus costs to decide if it is the right sort of cover for you.

If you suffer from a chronic medical condition where such health services would be of benefit to you, it may be well worth your while to be covered. Or if they are services that you use regularly anyway, paying a few hundred dollars less for them every year would obviously make sense.

Either way, claiming for these services is generally a retrospective process, so you need to pay for them yourself upfront and then seek reimbursement from your insurer, armed with evidence such as a GP referral and receipts proving it is a registered and approved facility.

What is excluded from cover?

Exclusions or circumstances where a benefit would not be paid on this type of cover might include:

  • If the gym or fitness centre is not approved by your insurer (some insurers require that you only attend facilities they have an agreement with).
  • If the service was not medically necessary (many insurers require you to have a referral from a healthcare professional such as a GP, physiotherapist, chiropractor or specialist).
  • If you hire a personal trainer or join a 24-hour fitness centre (some insurers don’t recognise these services).

Are personal trainers covered?

A possible reason why some insurers won’t cover the cost of a personal trainer is because the industry is largely self-regulated and only around two-thirds of personal trainers are registered with industry associations such as Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia. Registration with these organisations guarantees a personal trainer is qualified (minimum Certificate IV in Fitness, ideally Diploma of Fitness).

If you are thinking of using a personal trainer, make sure they are qualified and also:

  • Insured. Public liability and professional indemnity insurance for personal trainers is optional, but necessary to protect you if you suffer a loss or are injured while using their services.
  • Recommended. A good personal trainer should be able to provide references from satisfied customers and be happy to do so, so make sure you ask.
  • Affordable. A one-on-one session with a personal trainer can cost anywhere from $50 to $90 an hour and payment should be as-you-go, rather than requiring large sums upfront.
  • Personable. A good personal trainer is friendly, likeable, knowledgeable, patient and firmly focused on helping you achieve your goals.

How about membership discounts?

If you're looking to sign up to a new gym and kickstart your fitness regime, you may also be able to get a discount on your weekly rate. Some examples from policies on finder.com.au include:

  • ahm - Sign up for a Goodlife or Fitness First to save 10%.
  • myOwn - through AIA Vitality you can save 50% on selected Virgin Active memberships (and 30% off Fitness First).
  • HCF - Members can get a 10% discount on a 3 or 12-month membership with Fitness First.

Compare extras health insurance that covers gym membership

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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