Private health insurance in Australia is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Annual increases in the cost of providing health services have driven claims costs up which are then passed onto policyholders. To help contain the cost of these claims, insurers have been investing in well-being and preventative programs for their members. The goal is to attract healthier people and reduce the risk of high cost claims. One of the methods used to achieve this is to provide their members with gym discounts. That’s potentially good news for people who already have health insurance and are looking to join a gym.
Types of Benefits and Gym Discounts
The type and level of gym discounts/benefits varies by health fund and can also be different depending on the type of policy you have. For some policies, you’ll need a doctor’s referral to prove that a gym is recommended to treat a specific health condition. Often there are also benefits for weight management programs. You should always check with your insurer or a private health insurance expert such as iSelect to confirm your eligibility to claim on your policy. A simpler opportunity exists where health funds have deals in place with certain gyms where you get a % back off your membership. Ask at your prospective gym if they have a discount program in place with your insurance provider.
AIA Vitality Program
A great program called Vitality was launched into the Australian health insurance market in July 2017. Life insurer AIA owns the rights to the Vitality program in Australia and use it as part of their life insurance product offering. They have also teamed up with private health insurer GMHBA to create a health fund known as MyOwn. People that join MyOwn automatically receive a Vitality membership.
The Vitality program gives members a large number of benefits for doing healthy activities such as going to the gym. As an example, if you’re a member of Anytime Fitness, you can get $100 back every 3 months. All you need to do is go to the gym on 24 separate days in the 3 month period. That’s only about twice a week on average and can reduce your membership cost by up to $400 per year. The program tracks your attendance automatically when you swipe your key at the gym door. Too easy! The program also works with Fitness First, Virgin Active and Step Into Life with up to 50% off your membership.
For those struggling to justify the cost and value of health insurance, finding a health fund and policy that provides gym discounts could be your answer! Once you know which gyms have discounts that you’re eligible for, enter your address or suburb in our search page to find the ones closest to you. You can even filter by the major gym brands to remove the one’s that don’t provide you with a health insurance discount. It’s so easy (and free) to suss out gyms!