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Health Insurance Gym Membership Reimbursement

If you’ve recently decided it’s time to join a gym, you might be wondering whether health insurance will help you reduce the price.
Fact Checked

Updated: 24 May 2024

Select health insurance providers do offer discounts or rebates on certain gym memberships and exercise classes. These are usually available on a high-level Extras policy. However, you’ll need your medical practitioner to state that they recommend you participate in such fitness programs to improve your medical condition.

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Does health insurance cover gym membership?

As per the Australian Government’s private health insurance legislation, gym memberships and exercise fees will only be claimable when your doctor or physiotherapist recommends a specific exercise or gym program to maintain or improve your particular health condition — for example, hypertension, diabetes and unhealthy BMI and arthritis.

Take note: Generally, you won’t be able to claim for recreational or competitive sports or activities.

Also, as of 1 April 2019, Extras policies will no longer provide rebates for a range of natural therapies, including Pilates and Yoga. However, if your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist recommends Pilates and/or yoga classes, you might be able to claim a rebate.

How to get a health insurance fitness reimbursement

Gym membership benefits are usually available on Top Extras policies and listed under the company’s ‘healthy lifestyle discounts’, ‘wellness benefits’, or ‘health management benefits’. Other benefits that might also be claimable if your Extras policy offers health management programs include:

How do you claim for a gym membership?

Your GP or health professional will generally need to complete the company’s health management claim form (usually available from their website). Depending on your health fund, this form can be valid for up to two years, after which you’ll have to re-apply. You’ll need to submit this form, together with copies of all relevant invoices/receipts (make sure you keep the originals).

Take note: Annual limits and waiting periods do apply:

You can usually complete the above claim process online, via the fund’s online member centre, or by using the company’s app. Alternatively, you might be able to fax or post the relevant documentation to the insurer.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

If you have private health insurance with Extras cover, you can contact your fund and enquire what you need to do to get a gym rebate and how much you’ll be eligible for. Review your Private Health Insurance Statement (PHIS) to see if your Extras policy provides membership discount or reimbursements.

It is improbable that a medical professional would recommend Mixed Martial Arts as a way of treating or improving your medical condition. Thus, it is doubtful that private health insurance would pay a rebate or provide a discount towards an MMA gym. However, it’s always best to enquire from your insurer directly.

Your health fund might cover the costs of sessions with a personal trainer if your doctor or physiotherapist recommends it. However, your health fund could require that the personal trainer have a recognised certification and be approved by them before they’ll pay a claim.

Yoga might be covered by your Extras policy if it is recommended by a registered health professional. They’ll have to complete a health management form stating that you require the specific yoga exercises to help you improve your health condition.



Megan has extensive experience writing about health and life insurance in Australia. Megan has a special interest in health and wellness. She relies on her background in counselling psychology to convey the latest findings in a manner that is most beneficial to ComparingExperts readers. In every article she writes, Megan aims to uphold the standards of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIAA) which ComparingExpert is part of.

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