Australians Back Alternative Health

Despite controversy and criticism over the years, chiropractic treatment is one of Australia’s most common private health insurance claims, according to figures from Budget Direct Health Insurance. 

Budget Direct has analysed how its customers are using their private health insurance, and the results are surprising. It turns out we’re a nation which loves alternative therapies, and among the practitioners we see most regularly are chiropractors. 

While the top number of private health claims (30%) were for dental work, the second highest were for chiropractic treatment (18.77%). The third most common claim was for massage therapy (16.81%).

Although Budget Direct knew its customers were actively using the “Extra” services in their private health cover, the uptake of chiropractic treatment comes as a surprise, says Antony Dunstan from Budget Direct.

“You’d think optical claims would be far more common, or even physiotherapists, but our data shows that’s not the case,” says Mr Dunstan. “Aussies are backing chiropractors and taking full advantage of alternative health services covered by private health insurance.”

When it comes to the value of the benefits being paid, Dental is way ahead of other treatments at 61%, followed by Optical 11%, Chiropractor 7.87%, Massage 7.66% and Physiotherapy/Hydrotherapy 6%.

It appears hospital treatment is the biggest concern when it comes to private health cover, with most Budget Direct customers opting for a combined Hospital plus Extras policy (64.40%), followed by 31.25% purchasing hospital cover only, and a tiny 4.35% taking Extras cover only. Although customers want the security of hospital cover, half were happy with no frills basic cover, with just over a quarter (27%) opting for mid range cover and only 18% choosing to purchase top of the range cover.  

“The different levels of health cover we offer means customers have greater choice when selecting a policy which best suits their needs - be it the accommodation they have in hospital, the excesses they pay or the extras, that they need,” says Mr Dunstan.

He recommends people take the time to research the options available as, with Budget Direct Basic Hospital cover, the cost of a shared room in a public hospital is taken care of, but if you prefer private hospital coverage and don’t mind sharing some of the costs the Mid Hospital option could be better for you. For your own room in a private hospital you should choose the Top Hospital option.

“Whatever treatment they prefer we want Australians to get the most out of their cover, and use it in the smartest possible way,” says Mr Dunstan.

For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.