Did you know you can usually claim Beginner Yoga on your Health Fund?
You can claim a beginner yoga course with many private Health Funds.
Where you can claim, the refund means that you'll make a big saving on your course.
Up to certain limits, you can claim other courses, such as follow up courses like Beginner 2 or transitional courses. You cannot claim casual classes.
You receive rebates from a Health Fund depending on the "extras package" that you have.
In Nov 2014, by way of example, the HBF Premium Essentials and Ultimate Wellness packages gave you a rebate of $75 per yoga course on a minimum of 8 classes, up to $400 per year.
Please also check the blog on this site, as we will periodically be publishing more details on the refunds offered by particular Health Funds.
That type of rebate would be a massive saving on a beginner yoga course.
How to claim
You can claim your refund by getting a receipt in an approved form, such as the example available to download here.
You'll need to check out with your particular health fund what is claimable, and the exact format they require. However, it's likely that it will not be more detailed than in the typical receipt attached above.
Your studio or teachers can sign the receipt, and some may have it set up in an existing format with much of what you require. Don't forget to record the dates of classes and the teacher name.
Here some other things useful to know about claiming for your yoga course/s:
- There are several associations of yoga teachers in Australia. However, the one that most health funds recognise is Yoga Australia. With most funds, your actual teacher may need to be a member of Yoga Australia if you are to claim that particular class.
- In other cases, it may be sufficient if the studio owner or manager, issues you a receipt which they sign as a member of the Yoga Australia (or some other recognised association, such as the BKS IyengarAssociation of Australia).
- The list of funds that recognises the BKS Iyengar Association is below. Yoga Australia is recognised by a larger list of Health Funds, and a link to their site with some details of those funds is also below.
- Quite a lot of teachers are members of more than one association. If they are not in Yoga Australia, and your fund requires this, then ask them to consider joining it.
- You may find that some teachers in your beginner course are in Yoga Australia, and others are not, so you would need to choose classes accordingly (or discuss that with the studio owner).
- Where the teacher needs to be with Yoga Australia, you’ll need their Yoga Australia membership number.
- Some funds require you first have a referral from a GP, medical specialist, chiro or physio.
- The receipt requires the date of the particular classes you attended within the course.
- Many studios can retrieve the dates of your attendance from their online system, and you can access it yourself in some cases. However, the easiest is to keep your own record of dates of class attendance, and write them into a receipt like the above.
Health funds giving yoga course refunds
There are non-profit and for-profit health funds. Yoga Australia has summary of what it required by some health funds offering yoga refunds. View details on these health funds here.
Bupa is the largest for-profit fund. The information they provide online about yoga refunds is here.
If you don't have a private health fund, the Australian Financial Review did a useful 2014 survey of the ten best private health funds.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman provides a site called privatehealth.gov.au It allows you to select and compare health fund deals. It does not have specific information on yoga, but at least you can first work out which fund may be best for you on other factors… and then check out what yoga refunds they provide.
The links for some funds are here:
Obviously, you'll need to check out what each fund offer in terms of yoga refunds, and otherwise.
Funds accepting receipts signed by Iyengar teachers
The list of funds that accept receipts from teachers certified by the BKS Iyengar Association of Australia are
- Australian Unity Health
- CBHS Health Fund
- Grand United Corporation Health
- Teachers Health Fund
- Transport Health Fund
Please also note:
- NIB will not accept claims for Iyengar Yoga.
- HCF does not pay rebates for yoga
Refunds worth a lot of money over multiple years
It's likely that getting yoga refunds over the years could be worth a lot of money to you.
You’ll also be able to get the refunds year after year.
So it's worth making that a serious factor in which fund you join, or whether you swap funds.
In the meantime, don't forget to get on with beginner yoga, or other courses. The health benefits you'll get from yoga are immense (which is why the health funds give you a rebate). Getting a refund is a bonus, but don't let it stop you doing yoga soon.
Some of the best beginner yoga deals in Australia are on the map on this page.