“Do I need a referral to see a podiatrist?”
It’s a common question we come across on an almost daily basis at our foot clinics in Sydney.
Some people still believe that as a podiatrist is often considered a specialist that they will need to get a referral from their GP before they’re able to book an appointment.
But this is not the case.
You do not need a referral to see a podiatrist.
When Do I Need A Referral To See A Podiatrist?
There are some occasions when a referral is needed though but these are few and far between. You might need a referral to see a podiatrist if you fall under a medical concession scheme such as the Department of Veteran Affairs or Worker’s Compensation.
How Much Will A Podiatrist Appointment Cost?
If you’re booking an appointment with a podiatrist, you should check to see what the cost of the appointment is.
Some podiatrists will bulk bill so you don’t have to pay any further fees.
Podiatry is, however, mostly private billing. If you are eligible you can claim the appointment through Medicare.
Podiatrists may charge more than the amount covered by Medicare, but can submit a claim to Medicare when you present your Medicare card. You will usually be reimbursed with the current Medicare cost into your bank account within a 48 hour period.
The current Medicare rebate for a podiatry appointment is $53.80 (frozen until 2020).
Can I Claim My Podiatry Fees On My Private Health Insurance?
Depending on the type of cover you have, you may be able to submit a claim to your private health insurance provider for the cost of your podiatry appointment.
Some health insurers allow you to automatically claim when you pay the podiatrist, so what you’re covered for is immediately deducted from what you have to pay on the day.
Others may require you to pay for it yourself and then submit your receipts and a claim form and have the refund paid to your bank account.
Please note you cannot claim both from your private health and from Medicare.
It’s always a good idea to ask your health insurer exactly what they will cover from your treatment and appointments so there are no nasty surprises along the way.
Your podiatrist can give you the specific codes for each appointment type or treatment, and you can then ask your insurer what amount they will cover for each one.
So don’t suffer in pain thinking you need a referral to see a podiatrist – you don’t!