Author: Dr Maria A. Pinero, PhD*.
The best private health insurers support you to cover the cost of your health care. They collaborate with health care professionals delivering treatment to provide you with a benefit (a sum of money from your health fund). But who are these insurers and why are they important?
This article will help you to understand why the Chiropractic benefit is relevant, which are the top 5 Private Health Services for Chiropractic and, where are the local experts that will help you whenever you need them.
Why a Chiropractic benefit is relevant?
The chiropractic benefit is a fundamental support for our Australian population. Australia is severely impacted by chronic back pain, as proven by current reports indicating the following: 1
- 1 in 5 GP consultations involves a patient with chronic pain.
- Chronic pain costs the Australian economy $34+ billion per year.
- Effective and timely treatment could reduce this cost by 50%.
- 40% of forced early retirements in people of working age are due to chronic back pain.
In view of these issues, it is of vital importance to find the top private health services that could benefit your chiropractic needs, as these matters are not covered under the Medicare Benefits Scheme.
Chiropractic treatments are designed to address chronic back pain, back injuries, sports injuries, lower back pain and/or leg pain (sciatica), neck pain, headaches and migraines, joints issues (e.g. knees, shoulders, extremities), repetitive strains, arthritic pain, posture issues and many other connected problems2.
Therefore, to claim a Chiropractor treatment, you need to find a health policy/cove that includes chiropractic within its “extra” benefits (general treatment cover or ancillary cover). Such type of cover may also support you with health services like massage, osteopathy, physiotherapy and many others.
Which are the top 5 Private Health Services for Chiropractic Services?
These are the Top 5 Private Health Services for Chirporactic3. The information offered in this table presents a general view about Extra covers. Such deals are conditioned and often adapted to your needs, they involve waiting periods and others set specific prerequisites in order to be applicable to your case a.
|Health Fund||Chiropractor Rebate||General “Extra” info||Other positives|
|Medibank Private||Up to $200 annually||You choose the cover to suit your budget and lifestyle – 55%, 70% or 85% back from Members’ Choice providers
Cover for a wide range of services, including more costly ones, like major dental, orthodontics and hearing aids.
|100% back on up to two dental check-ups every year (including bitewing x-rays) at any Members’ Choice Advantage dentist, or
100% back on an annual dental check-up & clean at any Members’ Choice dentist, on top of your annual limit (excludes x-rays).
|BUPA||Up to $700/person and $1400/membership (all annually)||With Top Extras 90, you’ll receive 90 – 100% back for most Members First dental, physio, chiro, podiatry consultation and selected optical packages, up to yearly limits.||If you combine your Extras with Hospital cover, you’ll pay nothing for:
Dental check-ups at Members First Platinum Dentists. Most of your kids’ dental, physio, chiro, podiatry consultations and selected optical packages until they turn 25, at Members First providers, if you’re on a family membership+. Up to yearly limits.
|HCF||Up to $375 annually||Cover for a full range of services including dental, orthodontics, optical, physio, other therapies and health aids HCF-approved pharmacy benefit Claim on a range of HCF-approved Health Management Programs including learn to swim classes, weight management programs and gym membership fees for specific health conditions.||Get 100% back on: Up to 2 dental check-ups, 2 scales and cleans and a fluoride treatment through More for Teeth providers. Prescription glasses and a free digital retinal imaging with your eye test through More for Eyes providers. An initial physio, chiro and osteopath consultation through More for Muscles and More for Backs providers. An initial podiatry consultation through More for Feet providers 100% back or reduced cost on high-quality hearing aids from our More for Hearing provider, Blamey Saunders Hears.|
|NIB||Up to $300 annually|| Start with one of our core packages – including dental, optical and physio. If you are looking for more coverage you can add other Extras covers based on the Extras you’d like to claim.
For example, if wellbeing is important you can add cover which includes natural therapies like
remedial massage. Or if you have children you can choose a cover with orthodontia and other Extras designed for children.
It’s easy to add a cover or take cover away later as your needs change.
|On NIB’s latest range of Extras covers, you’ll be able to claim 60% of
the cost of service every time you claim for Extras (up to your annual
limit). Or if you decide to take Top Extras, you’ll receive 75% back up
to the annual limit.
|HBF||Up to $550 annually||Tailor your cover to suit you. With Flexi Extras Cover, you can choose your services and swap them at any time.||Before receiving any treatment, you should contact us or go to hbf.com.au/myhbf for a health benefit quote, so you know how much you’re covered for, the benefits you’ll receive and any out-of-pocket expenses.|
a The information in the table is referential and must be corroborated or corrected by accessing to the presented links and communicating directly with the mentioned providers.
Where are the local experts?
In South Australia, 39 Main South Rd, O’Halloran Hill, is home to the SA Wellness Centre, which brings Chiropractic services and multidisciplinary solutions to your health needs. Their natural approach not only involves chiropractic services but physiotherapy, remedial massage, naturopathy and yoga. They recognise that your health and wellbeing are inter-dependent upon your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual environment.
The SA Wellness Centre can provide you with the latest treatments and knowledge in their field 4; for instance, with stretching and strengthening exercises, spinal mobilisation, interferential current, soft-tissue mobilisation, massage, ultrasound, heat, manual traction and posture correction.
Contact the SA Wellness Centre via email or call them (08 8322 1788) to find out about the wide variety of treatment options that they offer. Services can change depending on the time lengths and intensity of your conditions. Pain reducing techniques can start from self-care measures, exercise therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, yoga and progressive relaxation.5
The latest research demonstrates that the type of chiropractic therapies that are provided within the SA Wellness Centre tend to be an alternative to pharmacological treatments as they focus on the nervous system’s role in maintaining and controlling all the body’s functions. These pain-reducing strategies mainly concentrate on manual techniques such as soft-tissue and joint adjustment. Other approaches embrace rehabilitation exercises, patient education and lifestyle modification.4
- PainAustralia (2017). Pain Australia Annual Review 2017. Report from painaustralia.org.au, https://www.painaustralia.org.au/static/uploads/files/painaustralia-2017-annual-review-report-degital-wfdhajewxsxi.pdf. (Accessed on the 10th of May 2019).
- Globe G, Morris C, Whalen W et al., “Chiropractic Management of Low Back Disorders: Report from a Consensus Process,” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics November/December 2008: 651-658.
- National Chiropractor Directory Australia(2017). “Best Health Funds for Chiropractic”. August 4, http://www.nationalcom.au/best-health-funds-chiropractic/. (Accessed on the 14th of May 2019).
- Roios, E., Paredes, A. C., Alves, A. F., & Pereira, M. G. (2017). Cognitive representations in low back pain in patients receiving chiropractic versus physiotherapy treatment. Journal of health psychology, 22(8), 1012-1024.
- Chou, R., Qaseem, A., Snow, V., Casey, D., Cross, J. T., Shekelle, P., & Owens, D. K. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Annals of internal medicine, 147(7), 478-491.
* The author thanks and acknowledges the valuable feedback provided by Lauryn Pountney.