What are health subscription refunds and how can they help you save?
Private health insurance offers a wide range of benefits for an equally wide range of medical treatments and services, helping Australians afford the health care they need.
One of the benefits offered by a private health insurance extras cover policy is rebates for health subscriptions to chronic disease management associations. From arthritis to diabetes, you can access benefits for an extensive range of health subscriptions.
What are health subscription refunds?
There are several special associations set up around Australia to act as a collective voice for sufferers of different chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes. These organisations work to reduce the impact of chronic diseases, providing education, research and advice to help prevent the spread of these conditions and to help sufferers manage their disease.
As part of your extras cover health insurance policy, you may be eligible to receive rebates for the cost of membership and subscription fees for these health management organisations. Some associations your health fund may include for cover are:
- Diabetes Australia
- MS Australia
- Crohn’s and Colitis Australia
- Coeliac Society
- Arthritis Australia
- Asthma Australia
- Parkinson’s Australia
Your health fund will be able to provide you with a list of association membership and subscription fees you are eligible to claim. Most health funds have an annual limit you can claim on membership fees, for example $50. Health subscription fees may be included along with other diet and lifestyle programs your health fund covers and an umbrella limit may apply to all the benefits you access under this section of cover.
Health policy comparison table
|Fund||What they cover||More info|
|ahm Super Extras provides $52 of cover per association, per year for disease management association fees for the following conditions:
This cover is included under an annual benefit limit for Health Improvement Benefits of $250.
|Australian Unity||Australian Unity members can access an 80% rebate on the cost of a single annual Diabetes Australia membership. A 12-month waiting period applies. The fund also offers a range of programs to help members manage conditions such as heart disease and arthritis.||More info|
|GMHBA does not provide any benefits for association subscriptions. However, members can access programs to help them manage everything from diabetes to heart health.||More info|
|HCF does not offer cover health association subscription fees. However, it does offer the My Health Guardian program to help members manage chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes and asthma.||More info|
|health.com.au does not cover health subscriptions, but it does provide a range of other benefits to help members stay in shape. These include cover for gym memberships, yoga classes and weight loss programs.||More info|
|HIF does not provide cover for disease association membership fees. However, it does offer benefits for diabetes education, weight loss programs, health assessments and more.||More info|
|There are no health subscription refunds available from nib. However, members can access a range of Healthier Lifestyle benefits to cover the cost of weight loss programs, diabetes management and more.||More info|
|Top Extras Cover from Transport Health provides $20 of cover per person for membership fees of authorised organisations such as Diabetes Australia. The fund also offers Chronic Disease Management programs to target asthma, diabetes, heart failure and more.||More info|
Arthritis Australia Subscription
Arthritis impacts the lives of 3.85 million Australians and includes more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Arthritis Australia is a not-for-profit organisation and is the peak body for arthritis in Australia. Its vision is to “bring quality of life to all people with arthritis and eliminate their suffering.”
It implements a range of strategies and initiatives to help make this vision a reality, including:
- Providing education and support to Australian arthritis sufferers and their carers
- Funding and advocating research into the potential causes and possible cures of arthritis, as well as better ways to live with arthritis
- Promoting awareness across the wider community of the challenges that people with arthritis face
- Keeping physiotherapists, occupational therapists and community nurses informed about treating arthritis
Arthritis Australia relies on individuals, community groups and corporate sponsors for the bulk of its funding. Becoming a member of Arthritis Australia allows you to have your voice heard, access programs to help you manage your arthritis and stay up to date with the latest research and developments.
Crohn's & Colitis Australia Subscription
Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis are gastrointestinal disorders that affect sufferers for their entire lives. Known collectively as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), these conditions affect more than 75,000 Australians, causing inflamed intestines and a range of potentially severe symptoms.
Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) aims to make life more livable for Australians who suffer from IBD. The not-for-profit organisation is a registered charity and has a mission “to support the Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis community with a focus on confidential support programs including education, advocacy, counselling, increasing awareness and generating and utilising funds for research and support.”
Members of CCA can take advantage of a wide range of benefits, including:
- The official CCA magazine featuring news, research, tips and personal stories
- A free national telephone helpline
- A comprehensive information kit to make it easier to live with IBD
- Exclusive research updates
- Support groups and forums
- Youth camps
- A member rewards program
BrainLink Services aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by acquired disorders of the brain. This Victorian-based organisation responds to the immediate needs of the family and friends of people suffering from acquired brain disorders, for example stroke, brain tumours, head injuries and progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.
BrainLink offers a wide range of services, including:
- A first point of contact for the loved ones following a diagnosis
- Peer support initiatives
- Innovative respite care options
- Specialised case management for patients suffering from severe brain disorders
- Information on and resources for brain disorders
- A referral service to help families access the help they need
Coeliac Australia Subscription
Coeliac Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation that aims to support people who suffer from coeliac disease. Comprised of five state organisations, Coeliac Australia’s vision is “to enhance the quality of life of people with coeliac disease and those medically diagnosed as requiring a gluten-free diet for life and to support research towards a cure or other ethical forms of treatment.”
By joining your state coeliac organisation, you can access support and information to help you:
- Develop and stick to a gluten-free diet
- Identify gluten-free ingredients and find places to buy gluten-free products
- Find recipes and cooking tips
- Eat out and travel overseas
Members receive a quarterly magazine packed with the latest medical advice and research, recipes, travel stories and the personal experiences of other members. Other activities and services include information seminars, shopping tours, gluten-free food expos and local support networks.
Diabetes Australia Subscription
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects around 1.7 million Australians and can lead to a long list of health complications. Diabetes Australia is the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and for those people at risk of developing the condition.
It has more than 180,000 members throughout Australia and you can join Diabetes Australia by paying an annual membership fee. When you join you also become a member of your state or territory diabetes organisation. This enables you to take advantage of:
- Preferred access to and discounts on diabetes products and services
- Discounts on a range of products, including health and travel insurance, footwear and much more
- Sales of blood glucose measuring devices
- Quarterly magazines about diabetes management and research
- Information and advice on how to manage your diabetes and maintain a healthy weight
- Local support groups
MS Australia Subscription
MS Australia is the national peak body for Australians living with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive condition of the central nervous system with no known cure. It affects more than 23,000 Australians.
With a focus on advocacy and communications, MS Australia works closely with MS Research Australia, which funds research into the detection and treatment of, and finding a cure for, MS.
MS Australia also works on behalf of the following state and territory organisations:
- Multiple Sclerosis Limited (ACT, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania)
- Multiple Sclerosis Society of Queensland
- The Multiple Sclerosis Society of South Australia and Northern Territory
- The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western Australia
These organisations work to provide support to MS sufferers and their families and to implement education programs and raise awareness of MS.