Natural Therapies Health Insurance: Massage

Natural therapies health insurance

Get cash back for natural therapies with extras cover

With the growing trend towards alternative medicines, many insurers are now also including natural therapies in their extras cover. This pays a benefit towards visits to practitioners in a range of fields including acupuncture, remedial massage, reflexology, homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbalism and shiatsu.

This guide looks at which services are covered, what you can expect to get back and which are the best health funds for natural therapies.

Compare cover for natural therapies – starting at $3 per week

You can find natural therapies in extras cover. Below we've highlighted some partner health funds who offer cover for natural therapies. Most policies have a 'combined limit' meaning that amount of includes other treatments too. All the below policies have a separate limit for general dental too, using other services in the policy is a great way to get more value from your premiums.

Fund Combined with Limit Wait Period Cost per month Apply
Bronze Plus
  • Acupuncture
  • Remedial Massage
  • Naturopathy
$100 2 months $15.92 Go to Site 50
  • Naturopathy
  • Acupuncture
$100 2 months $21.65 More info
ahm logo


  • Remedial Massage
  • Naturopathy
$400 No waiting period $49.86 Go to Site


  • Remedial Massage
  • Naturopathy
$250 2 months $55.03 Go to Site

*Prices based on single living in NSW.

What types of services are covered by health funds?

There are a wide range of services available that fall under the umbrella of natural therapies. Some of these include:

  • Acupuncture. Use of needles to stimulate pressure points.
  • Aromatherapy. Use of aromatic botanical essential oils.
  • Bowen therapy. Gentle movements to balance muscle and tissue interaction.
  • Iridology. Revealing disease by reading the iris and areas of the eye.
  • Naturopathy. Treating diseases by dealing with their underlying causes.
  • Osteopathy. Healing through methods like soft tissue treatment, lymphatic drainage and posture correction.
  • Reflexology. Applying pressure to reflex points on the feet and hands.
  • Shiatsu. Applying pressure to various anatomical points.

The extent to which particular natural therapy services are covered will depend largely on the insurer and policy. The government is currently reviewing the services covered under the Private Health Tax Rebate to determine whether they offer sufficient medical benefits. These include Alexander Technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko therapy, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, massage therapy, naturopathy, pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, Shiatsu, tai chi and yoga.

Are there any out-of-pocket expenses?

The amount you can claim per year on natural therapies will depend on the level of cover your policy provides. As the policy comparison table illustrates, maximum benefit limits can range from $50 up to $500 or more, but as premium costs are generally higher the greater the benefit paid, you would need to factor in how often you use these services to decide if this cover is right for you.

Generally, there will be out-of-pocket expenses for some natural therapies (the gap between what a practitioner charges and what you can claim back from your insurer), and for those services that don’t qualify for the Private Health Rebate, the amount you pay will be greater. So again, it’s important to weigh up the costs versus the benefits when choosing extras cover for natural therapies.

Are there waiting periods?

As with most health insurance policies, waiting periods do apply. A waiting period is a pre-determined amount of time you must wait before being able to claim a benefit for a particular service. Its purpose is to prevent people from joining a fund, claiming for a service and then cancelling their policy; a practice that disadvantages long-term fund members who have paid their dues.

In the case of hospital cover, waiting periods can be 12 months or more, but with extras cover, they are usually only two months (although services such as major dental can be up to 6 months). In the case of natural therapies, two months is the average waiting period before you can claim for a service. However, insurers often waive these waiting periods as a promotional incentive and are required to do so if you have switched from another insurer where you have already served a waiting period for the same service.

What are the benefits of complementary therapies?

It is estimated that more than 70% of Australians now include a form of natural therapy in their overall healthcare, so many people obviously believe such services can be of benefit when used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment.

Many natural therapies treat the mind and body as a whole and this approach may be beneficial for overall wellbeing and the maintenance of good health. While traditional medicine often treats symptoms after the fact, some natural therapies focus on identifying potential illnesses and diseases before they occur, which can be a useful prevention tool, particularly when they promote a healthy lifestyle as part of the preventative treatment.

While the recent government review of natural therapies that attract a Private Health Rebate failed to find enough evidence to suggest that most of these services were beneficial, the conclusion they drew was that a lack of evidence does not necessarily imply a lack of credibility. After all, many natural therapies have been practised for thousands of years in various countries and cultures, so they are obviously perceived as beneficial for many people around the world.

Health policy comparison table

The following table lists some popular health insurance providers and the amount of cover offered by each for natural therapy services.

Health fund How much is covered? Find out more
ahm health fund ahm’s Lifestyle Extras cover. Reimburses up to $400 per person per year and $800 per family per year for 17 complementary and alternative therapies including:
  • Acupuncture
  • Alexander Technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Biochemistry
  • Bowen therapy
  • Exercise physiology
  • Feldenkrais
  • Herbalism
  • Homeopathy
  • Kinesiology
  • Myotherapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Shiatsu and Chinese medicine (consultations only)
More info
  • Australian Unity’s Harmony Natural Therapies Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $350 per person per year and $600 per family per year for acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic, Chinese massage, Chinese medicine, dietetics, herbalism, homoeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, myotherapy, naturopathy, reflexology, remedial massage, Rolfing, shiatsu and Swedish massage.
More info
Bupa logo
  • Bupa’s Bronze Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $200 per person per year for natural therapies.
  • Bupa's Silver Extras
  • Covers up to $400 per person per year.
  • Bupa's Gold and Platinum Extras
  • Cover up to $500 per person per year.
More info
GMHBA health fund
  • GMHBA’s Silver Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $300 per person per year and $600 per family per year.
  • GMHBA's Gold Extras
  • Covers up to $350 per person per year and $700 per family per year for naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture and remedial massage.
More info
HCF logo
  • HCF’s Bronze Plus Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $80 per person per year.
  • HCF's Gold Extras
  • Covers up to $200 per person per year.
  • HCF's Platinum Extras
  • Covers up to $250 per person per year for remedial massage, myotherapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, naturopathy and Alexander Technique.
More info
  •’s Extras 50
  • Cover pays 50% of consultation fees (up to $400 per year) for naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, herbalism, reflexology, Bowen therapy, Alexander Technique, myotherapy, aromatherapy, shiatsu, Chinese medicine, kinesiology, iridology and Rolfing.
More info
HIF Logo
  • HIF’s Saver Options cover
  • Reimburses up to $50 per person per year.
  • HIF's Special Options
  • Covers up to $100 per person per year.
  • HIF's Super Option
  • Covers up to $250 per person per year.
  • HIF's Premium Options
  • Covers up to $500 per person per year for acupuncture, homeopathy, myotherapy, naturopathy, remedial massage and Chinese medicine.
More info
  • nib’s Wellbeing Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $300 per person per year ($150 limit on remedial massage) for acupuncture, naturopathy, herbalism, myotherapy and shiatsu consultations.
More info
  • Transport Health’s Top Extras cover
  • Reimburses up to $600 per person per year for remedial massage, acupuncture, Bowen therapy, reflexology, shiatsu, Western and Chinese herbalism, naturopathy and homoeopathy.
More info

Compare extras options from Australian health funds

Simply search extras only cover then refine your search by "Alternative therapies" to see all options

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

Picture: Shutterstock

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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