Is Physiotherapy Covered By Medicare?
Medicare is a healthcare system in Australia that provides access to basic health services. While Medicare covers a wide range of health services, several complimentary medical services such as the cost of hearing aids, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, ambulance services and others are not directly covered under the scheme.
If you need physiotherapy, you might be wondering whether the cost of physiotherapy is covered by Medicare. In today’s blog post, we will explore whether Medicare covers the cost of physiotherapy and what is the process for claiming.
Does Medicare cover Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy treatment isn’t directly covered under Medicare. You simply cannot go to a clinic for physiotherapy treatment and expect the bill to be settled with Medicare. However, there is a certain rebate available under the Chronic Disease Management plan. It is also known as the Team Care Arrangement plan.
This rebate also isn’t available to everyone. As stated by the name of the plan, the individual should have a chronic condition which means the condition has been there for at least 3 months. Also, you need to be referred by your GP to a physiotherapist. Only then, you will become eligible for the rebate.
The team care plan allows for up to 5 treatment sessions for allied health services within one calendar year. In simple terms, every individual is eligible for a Medicare rebate for up to 5 treatment sessions between January 1 to December 31 every year. This limit is then reset at the beginning of each calendar year and it is up to your GP to allocate these sessions within various disciplines.
These disciplines may include physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry, speech pathology and others. At the beginning of each year, you will need a fresh referral from the GP for that particular year.
As of July 2022, the Medicare rebate stands at $56 per consultation and is applicable to every discipline. You are eligible for a rebate of $56 for up to 5 sessions in a calendar year. The rebate amount keeps changing every year.
How to access the rebate
Accessing the rebate isn’t a straightforward process. It can only be claimed when the GP approves the TCA as well as other involved parties such as Medicare, other healthcare practitioners involved with TCA, physiotherapy clinic and you. In most cases, you will be asked to pay the full fee for the session.
You will then need to give your Medicare card to take advantage of the rebate. The $56 rebate is then credited directly to your account if you have a linked account to Medicare. If you do not have a debit card, you will have to go to the Medicare website to claim the rebate.
When Should You Visit A Physiotherapist?
A physiotherapist offers performance training and rehabilitation services, among other things. While most athletes know about the importance of regular visits to a physiotherapist, most people don’t really know when they should see a physiotherapist. Here’s a list of a few reasons for you to visit a physiotherapist:
1). If you are starting a new fitness regime, it would be best for you to visit a physiotherapist and seek their guidance to avoid injuries.
2). If you have a problem with posture and want to improve it, a physiotherapist can help you with that.
3). If you are experiencing general pain without a specific injury, a physiotherapist might be able to provide you relief by stimulating certain nerves.
4). If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, your body might be stiff. A physiotherapist can help you with stretching and flexibility.
5). If you have undergone surgery and need a lot of recovery time, this could eventually lead to muscle degradation. In such cases, a physiotherapist can help you get back to your original shape much more quickly.
6). Physiotherapists can also help with disease management as they can design a proper fitness routine based on your diagnosis.
Overall, Medicare covers your visits to a physiotherapist. Essentially, you get a rebate and the rebate amount keeps changing every year. You are eligible to access this rebate up to 5 times each calendar year.
A physiotherapist can help you with making your posture better and avoiding injuries if you are starting a new fitness regime. Upwell Health Collective specialises in new-age physiotherapy that utilises the latest in evidence-based practice.
Please call us today on (03) 8849 9096 or book an appointment now.