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Health insurance gym benefits

Get fit while saving money by claiming a gym rebate through your health insurance.

With people today tending to be more health conscious than ever, many extras policies offered by insurers now pay benefits towards the cost of joining a gym or leisure centre. Depending on your cover you may also be able to claim for other health related activities such as yoga, pilates and zumba classes.

Compare extras cover and start enjoying cheaper gym membership

Which Australian health funds offer gym membership rebates?

Health fundWhat health and lifestyle memberships are covered?
HIF health insuranceHIF’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 insurancehealth.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 insuranceAHM'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 UnityAustralian 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 insuranceHCF’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 insurancenib’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 insuranceTransport 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 fundWhat health and lifestyle memberships are covered?
ahmAHM'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 UnityAustralian 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).
BupaLiving 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.
HBFHBF 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%.
HCFHCF’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.auhealth.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.
hifHIF’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.
MedibankMedibank 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.
nibnib’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 HealthTransport 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 FundAll 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 fundrt 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 FundTeachers 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.

Compare extras health insurance that covers gym membership

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the insurance editor at finder.com.au. He is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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