You may have heard on the news/social media/grapevine that as of 1st April 2019, Private Health funds will implement some dramatic reforms that affect member’s ability to claim on natural therapies such as naturopathy, acupuncture, homoeopathy and PILATES.

EEEK! I hear many of you say. But i am writing this post to say fear not my Activators you will still be able to claim for all of the services you know and love with us at Activate Physiotherapy.

Firstly, some context to why these changes have been put in place. A review chaired by the former

Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer found there is no clear evidence demonstrating the efficacy of the excluded natural therapies (Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, Western herbalism, homoeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga). The thought is that removing these costs from the insurance system will reduce the annual increases in premiums paid by members for their extras cover.


At Activate Physiotherapy we are University qualified health practitioners running physiotherapy sessions that when appropriate include a mixture of clinically appropriate exercises, which may include exercises delivered on Pilates equipment or exercises drawn from Pilates that target their particular needs. We often include exercises that may be adaptations of traditional Pilates exercises but may also draw inspiration from many other styles of exercise depending on what your body needs. We deliver these services one-on-one or in a group depending on how much assistance you need and your unique circumstances.

Pilates has been found to be beneficial for the management of many health conditions and injuries but like any form of exercise the difference is in ensuring that the exercises prescribed are targeted to the specific issues of the patient. So rather than performing exercise in a general class environment where all participants do the same exercises, regardless of their needs, maximal benefit is achieved when the exercises match the injury or issue.

Before commencing one of our exercise programs we conduct an assessment to determine your goals and the clinical needs we need to address. We then create an individual exercise program which you may then perform under supervision of your physio on a one-on-one or group basis.

Each time you come in we are reassessing and reevaluating you and your body and making adjustments to our program so it continues to meet your individual needs. We also keep notes about each session you come in for, these form your clinical record which we are obliged to keep for any physiotherapy consultations you attend.

WHAT IT DOES MEAN is that we must refer to what we do as exercise-based Physiotherapy either individually or in a group and we can not refer to it in anyway as “Pilates” if we would like our Activators to continue to enjoy their health insurance rebates.

The item codes and rebate amounts you receive should not change as a result of these reforms as you are claiming under Physiotherapy which is NOT a natural therapy. We use 500 for your initial assessment, 505 for one-on-one sessions and 560 for group sessions.

So if you start to notice our group timetables and information materials being referred to as “Group Physiotherapy” or “Physiotherapy Exercise Groups”, at Activate Physiotherapy you can rest assured that you can still expect to receive excellent clinician led exercise sessions tailored to your individual needs BUT we just can’t call it Pilates.