Am I Entitled to a Healthcare Insurance Rebate for my Shoes?

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To answer in short – maybe? You maybe eligible for a rebate on fees associated with Medical grade or customised footwear but to be honest it’s a complicated answer and it depends on your level of health cover and the length of time you have held that cover with that particular insurer. Some older funds that you have been in for more than 30+ years tend to be very generous and include benefits for things like running shoes, provided there is justification from a relevant health professional.

There are a range of item numbers that are related to Medical grade or customised footwear and which some private health insurers will accept in order to claim a rebate, and some insurers will also provide a rebate proactively for athletic footwear.

So what is medical grade or customised footwear, and do I need it?

Medical grade or custom footwear is specialised footwear that is designed to provide support and specific weight bearing through the foot and minimising any foot dysfunction. Medical grade or customised footwear usually incorporates special features, such as a specific type of fastening, and additional depth or width of the shoe which will enable the individual needs of a patient to be met with the shoe by itself or to accommodate an orthotic device.

Some examples of people who may require this type of footwear include:

  • People with lower limb or diabetic neuropathy
  • People with circulatory or cardiac issues
  • People with genetic, arthritic or traumatic foot deformities that cannot fit into a regular sized shoe

Most of these styles of shoes usually provide additional width sizes, seamless inner linings and additional cushioning as well as easier orthotic or AFO accommodation.

How do I find out more?

If you think you may benefit from Medical grade or customised footwear to improve your foot function, ask your podiatrist for more information during your next visit. You may be able to solve your problem with a specific model of shoe that is available for retail purchase, or it may simply require an orthotic device.

I cannot stress enough that before you make any purchase, it is absolutely worthwhile contacting your health insurer to enquire about eligibility to receive a rebate in relation to the costs of Medical grade or customised footwear. In relation to athletic footwear, many will require a written letter from your podiatrist outlining what the problem is in relation to the patient and how/why the athletic footwear will be beneficial. In some more recent times, many health funds are taking a proactive approach to health and fitness and simply providing cash back rebates to athletic footwear regardless of existing conditions. They are not always forthcoming with this information unless you ask directly so ask, and you may receive!

If you want anymore information, call us on 9542 3491.

Have a great week,


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