Dr Hunt often finds many of his patients asking the same question – is it possible access to their superannuation fund to pay for medical procedures? This is a common question in Dr Hunt’s practice and it is possible in differing circumstances. Dr Hunt explains more about paying for surgery with your superannuation and when this could apply to you.
Use Your Superannuation for Medical Procedures
For a surgical procedure that is deemed medically necessary the ATO has allowed patients access to their superannuation funds and draw down the funds to cover the out-of-pocket costs for that procedure.
The process firstly requires a referral from your GP to a specialist. The specialist will then determine whether the procedure is medically necessary or not. If the procedure is deemed not medically necessary then unfortunately you will be unable to use your superannuation for the surgery.
However, if the specialist states that the procedure is necessary on medical grounds then the GP and the specialist will sign an application form. This is submitted by the patient to the ATO for release of their superannuation funds, these funds must be specifically used for the medical procedure’s out-of-pocket cost.
Dr Hunt finds that this process is particularly applicable to patients who are undergoing body contouring surgery following significant weight loss.
After a patient has achieved weight loss of more than 5 BMI points they can be considered for body contouring surgery on medical grounds due to excess skin and the issues associated with that excess skin.
If the initial assessment is made by a specialist the form can be submitted for release of funds. The process is relatively straightforward and one that Dr Hunt’s practice is very familiar with.
The same process is also applicable for other medically necessary procedures such as a breast reduction or, in some cases, revisional breast surgery.
Dr Hunt would suggest the first (and most important) port of call when considering the release of your superannuation funds is an assessment by a specialist after a referral by your GP. This means you can quickly understand whether the procedure is medical and from there the process of accessing superannuation funds is accessible online.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.