Fliegend thumb

Step Forward
Australia

AU-100x050

  • Home
  • Tell Me More
  • Health funds & other rebates

Health Insurance & Compensation

Step Forward Orthotics are a medical device with enormous benefits. Although they have been available in the USA for well over 30 years, they arrived in Australia only in 2004. Most health insurance funds and government departments developed their rules long before they were aware of the Step Forward approach.

Whether or not you can claim a benefit from your health fund or other organisation is a matter between you and them. We suggest you apply for a refund. If they reject your claim then we suggest you write a letter to the Manager of Ancillary Benefits (or equivalent) of your fund, asking them to change their policy. Unfortunately, many of these organisations seek their advice only from podiatrists, and close their eyes to alternative methodologies.

Step Forward Orthotics is the Australian office for Step Forward Co in the USA. When you buy from us, you are effectively buying direct from the manufacturer. Although we train and supply the doctors, chiropractors, therapists, etc, we are not ourselves doctors. We do not operate from a clinic. As such we have not been issued a 'provider number' by most health insurance funds or agencies.

However, even if you cannot get any compensation or refund, be aware that Step Forward Orthotics work out to only about $35 per year over their typical life. That's less than one cup of coffee per month.

Health Insurance Funds

The following information is provided to the best of our knowledge, but is subject to confirmation by each fund and subject to change. Please note that benefits also depend upon your level of cover and any previous claims. Information about health funds can be found on the government website at privatehealth.gov.au

Bullet_Tick = Recommended. We recommend these funds, since they now pay reasonable benefits on our orthotics.

Bullet_Cross = Change Funds. We recommend you change to a more understanding and co-operative health insurer.
Please note that health insurance funds are legally required to honour, for a similar level of cover, qualifying periods already served at your exisiting fund. You are free to take your health cover to a more obliging insurer. Check the specifics of this with each health fund before transferring, and be sure to get your ‘clearance certificate’ from the old fund.


Bullet_Tick ACA Health Benefits Fund RECOMMENDED
They have not replied to us in writing, but have confirmed verbally (23/03/09) that they will pay up to 80% (limit $400) provided you have a letter from a doctor.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

Bullet_Tick Apia RECOMMENDED
They have advised verbally (21/11/14) that they will pay a rebate on our orthotics. The amount depends on your cover. Claims are processed and paid by NIB. It is ESSENTIAL that you have our NIB Provider number (10091226) written on your receipt. (updated 21/11/14)

We Recommend You Complain To Them Australian Health Management
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will not pay benefits on Step Forward Orthotics. In 2008, the reason given was that our orthotics are "made overseas. We do not paid (sic) overseas claim." In 2009, the reason given was that "orthotics must be custom made". They refused to allow us to meet with them to put our case.

Recommended Australian Unity RECOMMENDED
They have confirmed to us in writing (17/09/07) that they will pay benefits for Step Forward Orthotics, provided:
a) your ancillary cover includes orthotics,
b) you have a referral from a registered medical practitioner, chiropractor or occupational therapist, and
c) the referral is dated before the date of the invoice.
We have been verbally advised (Sep 08) that our Provider Number is 21036902 and that the referral letter can also be from a physiotherapist or an osteopath.
We have been verbally advised (Aug 13) by a member that the referral can only be from a GP. Please check with Australian Unity and keep the details of the person you speak to as verbal advice can differ between staff members.
This is an Open Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them BUPA
BUPA (a UK-owned for-profit health fund) now owns the following brands of health insurance:
HBA, Mutual Community, ANZ Health Insurance, MBF & MBF Alliances (SGIO, SGIC & NRMA).
They will not pay any benefits for Step Forward orthotics (although we've been told that some Corporate Members on old plans may still be covered, but don't count on it). BUPA has refused our request to present our orthotics for review, and have confirmed they will not pay a rebate for them.
This also applies to the following funds, which we believe are owned by, or underwritten by, BUPA: ANZ Health Insurance, HBA, MBF, Mutual Community, NRMA, SGIC & SGIO.
We recommend you transfer to an Australian-owned fund. (updated 08/12/14)

We Recommend You Complain To Them CBHS Health Fund
They verbally advised that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics. (updated 24/03/09)

We Recommend You Complain To Them Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund (CDH)
They have verbally advised that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics. (updated 24/03/09)

We Recommend You Complain To Them CUA Health
They have verbally advised that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics (24/03/09), however, on 10/11/10 a customer successfully claimed an 80% rebate due to our orthotics being registered as a medical device with the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). On 24/05/12 a customer advised that they received a 60% rebate and another customer made a successful claim on 24/08/13.

Recommended Defence Health RECOMMENDED
Defence Health will pay a benefit for Step Forward Orthotics when provided by a health professional. The benefit will be available under the Foot Orthotics sub limit within the Medically prescribed devices and supports category. The rebate will be a maximum of $300 depending on the level of cover held. Check your Defence Health product guide for full details.
Our provider number is PRO76338. The Item Number is F-09446. These numbers do not need to be on the receipt, but can assist the processing.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information.

Recommended Doctors’ Health Fund RECOMMENDED
They have not replied to us in writing, but have confirmed verbally that they will pay up to 50%. A referral letter is not required.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them GMHBA
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics. They will pay benefits for orthotics only if they are provided by a podiatrist or an orthotist. They will not pay a benefit even if they are provided by a chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath or a surgeon.

We Recommend You Complain To Them Grand United Corporate
They have verbally advised that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics.

We Recommend You Complain To Them  HBF Group
They have confirmed in writing that they will NOT pay benefits on our orthotics. They will pay benefits only for custom-made orthotics provided by a podiatrist. They will not pay a benefit even if they are provided by a chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath or a surgeon. They have indicated that they would be more likely to change their policy if they receive enough complaints from their members who wish to claim Step Forward. Insist that your request is registered as a complaint or it will not be noticed. The HBF Group includes HBF (Perth), GMF (Kalgoorlie), & Healthguard (Kalgoorlie). (updated 05/08/2016)

We Recommend You Complain To Them HCF
HCF have confirmed they will pay $40 per pair on our orthotics, provided you have a letter from a chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, sports physician or podiatrist prescribing (or recommending) Step Forward Orthotics. Note this letter must be dated before our receipt, and cannot be from a General Practitioner. (updated 14/07/2010)

Recommended Health Care Insurance RECOMMENDED
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will pay benefits of 100% up to $200 (Premier Cover) or $100 (Essential Package), provided our receipt is accompanied by a referral letter from a doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath or similar professional. This letter must be dated no later than 2 weeks after the date on our invoice/receipt. The Provider Number for Step Forward orthotics is P1901153.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund (Forestry, Timber & Paper). Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them Health Partners
They have not replied to us in writing, but have advised verbally that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics.

We Recommend You Complain To Them HIF
They have not replied to us in writing, but have advised verbally that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics.

We Recommend You Complain To Them LaTrobe
They confirmed in writing that they pay benefits only for orthotics provided by a podiatrist. They refused our offer to present Step Forward to them. (updated 05/08/16)

Recommended Medibank Private RECOMMENDED
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will pay benefits under either of two situations:
a) our detailed receipt is sufficient when claiming from your Package Bonus, and/or
b) our detailed receipt along with a prescription from a registered medical practitioner, chiropractor, physiotherapist or osteopath when claiming as orthotics.  The prescription must be dated prior to the date of purchase.
We understand that:
The Item Number is F240 (a preformed orthotic) and can be found in the "podo" section.
Benefit is 80% or 60% or nil, according to level of cover, etc.
Package Bonus may be used to top up the benefit.
Our provider number (Australia-wide) is 0990511W.
If you are seeking a quote from Medibank regarding your rebate, please use the code ALLNMC1.
(Information updated 17/09/14)
This is an Open Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them Mildura District Hospital Fund
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics. (updated 26/02/15)

We Recommend You Complain To Them Navy Health
They have confirmed to us verbally that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics. (updated 12/08/16)

Recommended NIB RECOMMENDED
They have advised verbally (and this is confirmed by other customers) that they will pay a rebate on our orthotics. The amount depends on your cover. We have not been advised if a letter from a medical practitioner is required. It is ESSENTIAL that you have our NIB Provider number (10091226) written on your receipt.
This is an Open Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them Peoplecare
They confirmed in writing (26/05/10) that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics. This includes OneMediFund.

Phoenix Health Fund
We have no information about this fund.

Recommended Police Health RECOMMENDED
They have confirmed to us in writing that they will pay benefits of 50% up to $200 (Top Hospital or Platinum Health only), provided the receipt specifies “orthotics” and is accompanied by a referral letter from a General Practitioner. Police Health have issued us neither an item number nor a provider number. Updated 05/08/16.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund. Visit their website for more information. link

Recommended Queensland Country Health RECOMMENDED
They have advised that as from 01/04/15 they will pay a benefit for Step Forward Orthotics when provided by a health professional. The benefit will be available under the sub limit for Foot Orthoses and Orthopaedic Shoes. The rebate will be a maximum of $150 depending on your cover.
Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them Reserve Bank Health Society
They advised verbally that they will not pay benefits for our orthotics unless provided by a chiropractor. (updated 30/04/10)

RT Health
We have no information about this fund but believe that a client claimed succcessfully in 2014 with a referral. We do not know what the rebate amount was. Please call RT Health to check their requirements.
This is a Restricted Membership Fund (Transport & Energy). Visit their website for more information. link

Recommended St Lukes RECOMMENDED
They will pay a rebate on our orthotics. The amount (up to $200) depends on your cover. A referral from a medical practitioner is NOT required. Our provider number is A4000849. The item number is F267 and must be written on the receipt.
Visit their website for more information. link

We Recommend You Complain To Them Teachers (Federation) Health Fund
They advised verbally (19/11/10) that they will not pay a benefit for our orthotics or any other pre-formed orthotics although we have heard of several successful claims as recently as May 2015 where a rebate of $200 has been given.
Do not confuse Teachers (Federation) Health Fund (based in Sydney) with Teachers Union Health (based in Brisbane).

We Recommend You Complain To Them Teachers Union Health
We have no information about this fund but believe they will not pay benefits on our orthotics.
Do not confuse Teachers Union Health (based in Brisbane) with Teachers (Federation) Health Fund (based in Sydney).

We Recommend You Complain To Them  Transport Health
They advised verbally (19/09/14) that they will not pay a benefit on our orthotics or any other pre-formed orthotics.

Recommended  Westfund RECOMMENDED
They commenced paying rebates for Step Forward Orthotics on 01/01/14.
The following Westfund policies offer benefits for Step Forward Orthotics: Platinum, Platinum 500 (annual limit $300 per policy – not per person), Gold, Gold 500, Gold Extras, Sterling Silver and Silver (annual limit $200 per policy – not per person).
The tax invoice / receipt must identify the orthotics as "Item F240 - preformed orthotics".
You need a letter of recommendation from any Medicare registered practitioner stating that it is for the support, alignment, prevention or correction of issues relating to the feet.  The letter must include the practitioner’s Provider Number and be dated prior to the date of purchase. (updated 27/11/13)
Visit their website for more information. link

Government Agencies

DVA (Department of Veteran Affairs)

After many years of DVA happily paying for Step Forward Orthotics, they will now pay only for orthotics custom-made by podiatrists.

WA - Department of Health

A pair was requested by a hospital podiatrist, resulting in an official purchase order being raised by the Department of Health (02/09/09).

WorkCover (or similar)

Since 2010 we have had several instances in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia where WorkCover organisations have purchased Step Forward Orthotics for their clients.  We suggest you approach your case worker with your footprint and the size details to request they purchase a pair for you.

Transport Accident Commission (or similar)

We have had no formal discussions with any of the state-based transport or motor agencies, however in 2011, approval was granted for the purchase of a pair of Step Forward Orthotics for a Victorian accident victim. We suggest that you seek the support of your medical supervisor in approaching your State TAC branch to approve the purchase of a pair for you.


Other Sources

Employers

We have a growing number of employers who have purchased Step Forward Orthotics for their employees, as they recognise this not only as a benefit to the employee but also to the productivity and morale of their work force. Reduction of lost days alone make this an attractive program. We recommend you approach your employer with such a request.

Social & Community Groups

We can make an interesting and educational presentation to your group, followed by a personal fitting and test walk on our orthotics. This can be structured as a fund-raiser that benefits not just the individuals but also the entire group. It is suitable for Social clubs (office, church, factory, etc), community groups (Rotary, Lions, Probus, etc), institutions (schools, kindergartens, retirement villages, military, etc), sports clubs (football, gymnasiums, tennis, cricket, athletics, etc) and private groups (neighbourhood walking clubs, etc). Contact our national office on Freecall 1800 000 566 for further information.

Print Email