Is naturopathy covered by health insurance?

Extras health insurance usually covers some naturopathy treatments, but the details vary between policies.


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Woman Receiving Cupping and Acupuncture Treatment

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Some naturopathy is usually covered by extras health insurance but it's likely there'll be a few restrictions on which treatments you can claim, so it's worth checking the fine print.

For example, some policies will only let you claim remedial massage, while others will let you claim for Chinese herbalism, acupuncture, myotherapy, and more.

Which health funds cover naturopathy?

The table below lets you compare naturopathy benefits offered by Finder partners. Remember, these policies have heaps of other benefits too, we've just pulled out the natural therapies.

Although chiropractor and osteopath treatments are considered natural therapies, we haven't included them in this table as they usually have their own sections in health insurance.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Annual limit Remedial Massage Acupuncture cover Traditional Chinese Medicine Exercise Physiologist Myotherapist Price Per Month
ahm lifestyle Extras
HCF Starter Extras
Medibank Healthy Start Extras
Peoplecare Mid Extras

Compare up to 4 providers

What is naturopathy?

Naturopathy is an umbrella term used to describe a type of medicine which relies on natural remedies to improve health. It includes heaps of common treatments, such as remedial massage, acupuncture and Chinese herbalism, plus some you might not have heard of before.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but some common examples of naturopathy include:

  • Alexander technique - Aromatherapy
  • Auriculotherapy - Cupping therapy
  • Herbal medicine - Homeopathy
  • Iridology - Phrenology
  • Reflexology - Remedial massage

Which naturopathy treatments are covered by health insurance?

The specific naturopathy treatments that are covered by your health insurance will depend on the policy you have. They should be listed in your insurance documents but if you're not sure exactly which treatments your insurer will cover, it's best to contact the company directly.

Why does naturopathy vary between insurers?

In 2019, there were significant reforms to private health insurance in Australia. As part of the reforms, some naturopathy treatments were excluded from the definition of general treatment.

This means insurers are no longer obligated to offer these benefits. They can choose to if they wish, usually as an extra incentive for customers, but they're not legally required to.

The specific treatments removed were:

  • Alexander technique - Aromatherapy
  • Bowen therapy - Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais - Western herbalism
  • Homeopathy - Iridology
  • Kinesiology - Naturopathy
  • Pilates - Reflexology
  • Rolfing - Shiatsu
  • Tai chi - Yoga

Are chiropractic treatments considered naturopathy?

Yes, chiropractic treatments are considered naturopathy. However, health insurance usually considers chiropractic treatments to be its own category, separate from naturopathy.

That means you'll have separate limits for each section. So if you have $250 to spend every year on naturopathy, you'll have a separate amount to spend on chiropractor appointments.

If you want more information on health insurance which covers chiropractic treatments, you should check out our guide

Is osteopathy considered naturopathy?

Yes, osteopathy is typically considered naturopathy. However, health insurance funds usually give osteopathy its own category which is separate to naturopathy.

This means you'll have separate limits for naturopathy and osteopathy. So if you reach your limit by having heaps of remedial massages, you'll have an entirely separate limit to use if you need to see an osteopath.

What should I know before claiming naturopathy on my health insurance?

Even if your health fund offers a benefit for naturopathy, there are still some details you should double check before going ahead with the treatment.

Is the specific treatment covered by your policy?

Not all naturopathy treatments will be covered by your health fund. If it's not, you won't be able to claim any money back for the treatment.

Is the provider approved by your fund?

No matter what you're trying to claim for, the healthcare provider must be approved by your fund. You can ask your healthcare provider if they are approved, or contact your insurer.

What is the maximum claim amount?

Your policy should detail exactly how much you can claim back per treatment and how much you can claim in an entire year. Your insurer may refund a percentage of your bill, or contribute a set amount.

Can you only claim for a specific condition?

In some instances, health funds will only pay for naturopathy treatments if they are intended to address a specific medical condition.

If you're unsure about any of these, you should always contact your insurer directly to check.

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