chinese medicine

Is Chinese Medicine Covered by Private Health Insurance?

June 30, 2022

Currently, 13.6 million Australians enjoy the peace of mind that comes with private health insurance. This insurance not only covers the essentials, but also extras like dental, vision, physiotherapy, podiatry and mental health therapy. And yet, sometimes it can be a little confusing figuring out what’s included and what you can or can’t claim on.

For example, not every type of private health insurance policy covers Chinese medicine and traditional treatments like acupuncture, cupping, herbal medicine and remedial massage. Given that almost three million Australians visit Chinese medicine practitioners each year to receive these treatments, it’s worth knowing whether it’s covered by your insurance or not.

If your question is whether Chinese medicine is covered by Medicare, you may be disappointed to learn that while acupuncture qualifies for rebates in some cases, most traditional Chinese medicine is not covered by Medicare.


What is traditional Chinese medicine?

For those who are new to the concept, traditional Chinese medicine is an ancient form of medicine that has been used for centuries; centred around the belief that the body is a self-healing organism, and that natural remedies like herbs and acupuncture can be used to treat illness.

The goal of traditional Chinese medicine is to maintain balance within the body, as well as between the body and nature. It can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, both physical and mental, and is also a preventative medicine that can be used to maintain overall health and well-being.

In recent years, traditional Chinese medicine has become increasingly popular in the West as people seek alternatives to generic pharmacy medications like pain-killers – this is where the question of insurance cover comes in.


Health insurance for acupuncture

It’s worth reiterating that most traditional Chinese medicine is not covered by Medicare, although acupuncture may be covered if your acupuncturist is also a General Practitioner. However, if you have a private health insurance “extras” policy, there’s a good chance you may be eligible to claim a rebate from acupuncture treatment and even some other varieties of traditional Chinese medicine.

If you’re looking for health insurance that covers acupuncture, be sure to read the fine print of the policy carefully and ask your potential insurer the question.


Book acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine treatment at Essendon Natural Health

At Essendon Natural Health, our team of friendly practitioners is fully qualified and highly experienced in providing our valued clients with tailored acupuncture treatments based on your specific condition.

Working from our beautiful heritage-listed clinic in the heart of Essendon, we also provide personalised naturopathy, hypnotherapy, massage and holistic healing services. To arrange a consultation, please contact us directly or book an appointment online.

Robert Gentile

B.C.M (Hons), C.Clin.Prac (China), C.Toyohari. Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist. Integrative Natural Medicine Practitioner.

Robert is a passionate and warm practitioner who has an extensive knowledge of integrative and functional natural medicine. He is down to earth and has an interest in organic foods, gardening and sustainable living. With over a decade of experience, he is renowned for being very thorough by both fellow practitioners and patients alike.