Having your feet checked by a podiatrist can help prevent foot, toe, and nail problems. You can also learn what to look out for and which shoes and insoles are best for your feet.
A podiatrist helps diagnose any foot problems and may recommend surgery for more serious foot issues - which is where your health cover comes in.
Podiatry treatments and surgeries are not covered by Medicare.
There may be an exception if you have diabetes, which is covered by a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan.
Appropriate private hospital cover can help with the costs of hospital admissions and prosthetics.
Taking out an extras policy which covers your podiatry treatment may reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
Podiatric surgery is likely included in silver and gold tier health cover, and is not typically part of any your extras policy.
Does Medicare cover podiatry surgery?
Foot surgery by a podiatrist isn’t covered by Medicare, so it can mean a major hit to your bank balance, if you’re not covered.
There may be an exception to this rule if you’re suffering with conditions such as diabetes. In this case, if your GP has put you on a CDM (Chronic Disease Management) Plan for your condition, then the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) may cover part of your podiatry treatment.
Otherwise, consulting a podiatrist is usually covered by your extras policy. Procedures involving surgery may require hospital cover, so it’s important to ensure you have the right cover for your needs - after all, you only get one set of feet!
What is podiatric surgery?
Podiatric surgery can be used to treat injuries and long-standing issues with bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons*. Podiatric surgery generally provides treatment for issues such as:
Fractures, sprains, and breaks
Bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, and other structural issues
Nail conditions such as ingrown toenails
Nerve problems such as Morton's neuroma
In some cases, podiatric surgery also covers issues associated with arthritis and diabetes. This includes foot amputations*.
What are the waiting periods for podiatry surgery?
Waiting periods are imposed by insurers to prevent people from signing up for cover, getting the treatment they need, then immediately cancelling their policy.
If you take out hospital cover to help with your podiatry costs, you’ll find your typical waiting periods are:
12 months for pre-existing conditions
2 months for new conditions.
There will be specific waiting periods for podiatric surgical procedures as well, and these will vary depending on your fund, level of cover, and specific condition.
Compare Club's free online comparison tool may be able to help match you with providers currently running "no waiting period" promotions for extras policies.
How much is private health insurance for podiatry?
This depends on whether the cover you choose for podiatry falls within your extras policy, or your hospital policy. For more detail on the differences between the two types of cover, check out the guide here:
Extras cover can be taken out for less than $4 per week, but this isn’t likely to include podiatry treatments or surgeries. If you need private health (hospital) cover that includes podiatric surgery, you’re likely looking at silver tier hospital insurance or above.
The cost ranges between $188 to $258 per month`. This varies significantly between policies, states and territories and health funds so you’ll need to do your homework to determine which is the best cover and value for money for you.COMPARE & SAVE
What podiatry services do health funds cover?
Health funds will cover the minimum default benefit for hospital accommodation costs, if you require podiatry surgery by an accredited podiatrist.
Funds may also cover part of the costs of any prosthetics required, but will not cover the cost of prosthetic surgery itself. They also won’t cover your theatre fees for any other podiatric surgeries in private hospitals^^.
Does private health insurance cover the costs of seeing a podiatrist?
A standard hospital policy does not cover the cost of seeing a podiatrist. However, most top to mid level extras policies cover the cost of seeing a podiatrist for non-surgical treatments.
Is podiatry covered by Medibank Private?
Where members have selected podiatry as a covered service, Medibank Private covers up to 70% of your consultation cost, but only if you use a Member's Choice provider under the Medibank My Choice Extras Support and Medibank My Choice Extras Complete plans.
Further consultations come with additional out-of-pocket costs. You’ll also be subject to standard waiting periods and annual benefit limits, which may not always be suitable for you. Find out more about this here.
Is podiatry covered by BUPA?
Bupa provides cover for some podiatry services (but not hospital treatments) under their extras policy. Their hospital cover offers limited benefits if you require podiatric surgery, though these fall under their hospital cover, not their extras policy. Read more here.
How do I choose the best health cover for my podiatry needs?
The most effective way to find the best health insurance for podiatry surgery is to compare the details of different policies.
This way, you’ll be able to find one that gives you the cover you need with no hidden costs and minimum out-of-pocket expenses.
Get in touch with Compare Club# today to discover how we can help you switch to a great value policy for your podiatry treatment, or use our free online tool to find quotes from our panel of selected insurers.COMPARE & SAVE
*https://entirepodiatry.com.au `https://www.news.com.au/best-of/money/silver-health-insurance/news-story/8d0e6f0fc6f2313729a228cfb00f61fd ^^https://www.ombudsman.gov.au ``https://www.hif.com.au #Compare Club compares selected products from a panel of trusted insurers. We do not compare all products in the market.