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What now for natural therapies?

06 May, 2019
Woman doing Pilates

Did the Government’s decision to remove benefits for certain natural therapies impact you? Read on to find out why they’ve been removed, what’s still available and other potential options which could help you save money.

Why can I no longer claim on natural therapies?

Like all other health funds, CBHS can no longer pay benefits towards certain natural therapy services from 1 April 2019. This is because we must comply with the Australian Government’s private health insurance reforms package. The Government’s decision to remove certain natural therapies is based on a review which found no clear evidence that these services were clinically effective. The Government’s goal is to make sure that taxpayer dollars are directed to the areas where they are of most benefit and to help reduce premium growth in future.

Sixteen natural therapies are affected:

Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, Western herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga.

These 16 natural therapies made up only a small portion of claims by our members each year. However, we understand that you may be disappointed if these changes impact you. 

Which natural therapies are still available?

Rest assured, you can still receive benefits on some of your favourite natural therapies, and the most popular ones our CBHS members claim. These include remedial massage and acupuncture.

What can I do now?

If you hold an eligible Extras cover with CBHS and had one of the affected treatments before 1 April 2019, you will be able to claim on this for up to two years after the date of service (subject to annual limits).

  • If you’re a yoga or Pilates fan, there are now some amazing and very cost-effective (or free) apps available which bring the yoga studio to your smartphone. Check out Healthline’s Best Yoga Apps of 2018 or look up ratings where you download your apps.


  • Check out your local community noticeboards to see if there are cheap or free yoga, Pilates or tai chi classes in your area. For example, community and neighbourhood centres often run low-cost or free classes.


  • If your Extras cover offers a benefit on gym membership, how about finding a gym that offers yoga and Pilates as part of their class timetable. CBHS can pay a benefit for a gym membership (or personal trainer) if it’s certified by your GP or a recognised provider as part of a health management program*.
  • Visit your GP for general health checks and review of your symptoms. Your GP should be happy to discuss treatment options and potential natural alternatives with you.


  • Review what’s included in your Extras cover and try one of the natural therapies which you can still receive benefits for. You can do this within our mobile app or Member Centre. Or, give our Member Care team a call on 1300 654 123. We’re happy to review your cover in general and discuss whether it’s still right for your needs.

More information

Read about other changes under the Australian Government’s private health insurance reforms.

*The Health Management Program Authorisation form is available on the CBHS website under Member Forms. GP consultation cost is not covered.
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