Approximately 50% of Australians have private health insurance. Private health insurance allows a person to be treated in hospital as a private patient and can also help pay for health care costs that are not typically covered by Medicare.
Private health insurance can be purchased from a registered health insurer. In Australia, 38 private health insurers provide hospital and general treatment insurance policies, including rebates for community-based allied health services. Each allied health profession has a Services Schedule which is frequently used by individual private health insurers to determine what devices or services are eligible for rebates.
After several years of advocacy and campaigning, the PAA is delighted to introduce the Orthotic, Prosthetic and Pedorthic Services Schedule (OPPS). The OPPS has been developed by PAA in co-operation with the Australian Orthotic Prosthetic Association (AOPA). It will enable eligible private health insurance policy holders to receive rebates for orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic footwear items and services. Certified pedorthists registered with the Australian Pedorthists Registration Board (APRB) will be able to use the Schedule.
The Schedule was endorsed by Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) in July 2020. The next phase involves individual Private Health Funds choosing whether to adopt and implement the Schedule. Launch of the Schedule is anticipated for early-mid 2022.
It represents a significant step forward for the pedorthic profession and continues PAA’s commitment to improving access to pedorthic services.