This amount is $150 million more than the total extras benefits paid to members five years ago, meaning members are getting more out of their extras cover than they were five years ago1.
The most common claims were for dental, optical, chiropractic and physiotherapy.
In the last financial year (FY16), for members' extras healthcare, Medibank paid:
- $539.3 million for dental treatment (including major dental, minor dental and orthodontic). This covered 9.3 million dental services, 592,000 more services than five years ago (FY12). Dental benefits paid have increased by 16.9 per cent in the same period.
- $212.2 million for optical services and devices. The optical benefits paid have increased by 13 per cent in the last five years.
- $80.1 million for physiotherapy. The physio benefits paid have increased by 29.6 per cent in the last five years.
- $63.9 million for chiropractic treatment. The chiro benefits paid have increased by 27.8 per cent in the last five years.
Dental services made up 44 per cent of the claims Medibank customers made, an important health benefit given the known link between good dental health and overall wellbeing.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer, Dr Linda Swan, said extras cover can help Australians improve their general health.
"We know how important dental health is to overall wellbeing, and it's reassuring to see more Australians accessing this benefit to help improve their health," Dr Swan said.
"Physiotherapists also offer important healthcare for many people with back, neck, muscle or joint issues, and the increased use of these services means many more Australians are benefiting from access to these services.
"Podiatry is also increasingly in demand, which could mean people are learning more about how caring for their feet can help reduce other health issues.
"Medibank and ahm paid benefits towards 26 million extras claims last financial year - that's an average of 10 extras services for each of our 2.7 million customers who have extras cover, proving the value of having this type of cover," Dr Swan said.
Medibank and ahm paid a total of $5.1 billion for members' extras and hospital healthcare last financial year, including 500,000 surgeries and more than 1.3 million hospital admissions.