Health Insurance Gym Memberships: Get Fit and Save Money

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Updated 03/05/2024
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 03/05/2024

What changed?

Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg and tip added, and referencing style updated.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

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Save time and effort by comparing a range of Australia’s health funds with iSelect

I need cover for…

Does Health Insurance cover gym memberships?
Do all Extras policies include gym memberships?
What other health and fitness benefits can I get?
Why do some health insurers offer benefits towards gym memberships and fitness classes?
How much of your fitness costs will Private Health Insurance cover?
How do you make a claim on gym membership and fitness extras?
How do you find a suitable policy that offers cover towards gym memberships?

We all know that physical activity is an important part of keeping healthy. That’s why some Health Insurance plans provide rebates and discounts for gym memberships. Heck, some insurers even provide cover for fitness classes. But which policies offer this kind of Insurance? Let’s take a look to find out!

Does Health Insurance cover gym memberships?

In short, yes it can – but it depends on the fund and policy.  When it comes to gym memberships, it’s Extras Cover – not Hospital – that may help cover the cost. While Hospital Cover has a bunch of benefits but it usually just covers in-hospital treatments, so it isn’t going to help you with your gym fees.  

Extras Cover is there to help with the costs of general services; the things you get outside of hospital like physiotherapy, glasses or general dental treatment.  And this can also extend to preventative health services like gym memberships and fitness classes. 

Do all Extras policies include gym memberships?

No, it’s important to be aware that not every Extras policy includes benefits towards gym memberships! You’ll want to put on your detective hat and do some research before you commit to anything. iSelect can help you compare Extras policies to see if we can find one that can help with your gym membership.

What other health and fitness benefits can I get?

Extras Cover might help you with more than just gym memberships. Some plans may also include discounts or benefits towards personal training sessions and weight management programs. Most funds require you to have a health professional fill in a form to state you need the membership or program to improve a specific health condition. 

Policies usually refer to these fitness benefits as ‘health management,’ ‘lifestyle,’ or ‘wellness’ benefits. If you already have Health Insurance with Extras, check these sections of your policy documents. You may already be covered for gym membership benefits that you aren’t claiming. 

Some health insurers also have agreements with particular gyms or instructors. This may help decide which insurer is the most suitable fit. iSelect can help review a range of policies and providers to see if we can match a plan to the type of fitness cover you’re after, or one that involves the gym closest to you. 

Finally, it’s important to note that some natural therapies, including yoga and naturopathy, can no longer be covered under Health Insurance policies. This means that you will not be able to claim any benefits for these treatments. 

Helpful Tip:

Even if you can’t claim benefits for yoga or Pilates, insurance providers can still help you out in other ways. Some providers offer special member rewards, including discounts on fitness classes and personal training  at certain fitness centres. So keep your eye out for these goodies when it comes to your insurer of choice, or get in touch with iSelect to see what’s on offer!

Dr. Jill Gamberg

GP and Lifestyle Coach

Why do some health insurers offer benefits towards gym memberships and fitness classes?

The answer is simple. Gym memberships and fitness classes are often viewed by insurers as having a preventative health benefit, both to them and you!  Basically, the healthier you’re living now, the less likely you are to have significant health issues later. They’re not just doing this because they’re good Samaritans either; it’s because a healthy lifestyle could make you a lot less likely to claim for chronic illnesses in the future. 

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) involves plaque buildup in artery walls, which includes conditions such as heart attack, peripheral vascular disease and stroke. ASCVD is a problem that many Australians face, with about 6.2% of Australian adults (over 1 million people) living with ASCVD.1Australian Government | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Heart, stroke and vascular disease: Australian facts From 2020-21, there were 600,000 hospitalisations related to ASCVD.2As above  It accounts for billions of dollars in spending, and the cost is predicted to grow.3ScienceDirect – Lifetime Costs of Hospitalised Cardiovascular Disease in Australia: An Incidence-Based Estimate 

Diabetes is another disease that is a considerable cost to the Australian health system, costing $3.1 billion in 2019/20 alone.4Australian Government | Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Diabetes: Australian facts

Physical activity can not only help prevent chronic health issues such as ASCVD or diabetes but can be used to help manage many of them as well. Physical activity is an important part of good asthma management, and an excellent way to improve heart health, mental health and reduce back pain. 

How much of your fitness costs will Private Health Insurance cover?

Health Insurance gym membership and fitness benefits differ by provider. They’re also subject to change over time. They may be percentage-based or have monthly or annual limits. Make sure to check any conditions when you sign up, as it’s important to know if these affect the amount you can claim.  And remember, not all Extras policies will pay benefits to help cover your fitness costs.  

How do you make a claim on gym membership and fitness extras?

Your GP, physio, or healthcare provider may have to sign a health management form, and you should keep receipts for fitness services you plan on claiming. Also, your gym membership or fitness classes will need approval by your health fund. Check with your private health insurer to find out which fitness providers they work with.  Some gyms, often larger chains, have considerable discounts on your membership depending on your provider, so it’s worth asking your gym if they’re affiliated with a particular health fund, or your fund if they are affiliated with a particular gym chain!

How do you find a suitable policy that offers cover towards gym memberships?

There’s a lot to consider when comparing health insurers: how much they provide in benefits, how much you can afford and which services they cover. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!  Fortunately, iSelect can help make the process a little bit easier, so the only spinning you’re doing is in spin class.  

We compare a number of private health insurance plans with gym membership and fitness benefits. You can even weigh up different policies at a glance with our online comparison tool. So, give it a try—you might just find the policy of your dreams!

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iSelect does not compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers