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Health insurance for kids

Does it cost any more to cover my kids? Find out more about health cover for kids.

Most health funds will allow you to include your children on your policy at no extra charge, and many insurers even offer incentives for doing so, such as waiving the excess if your child needs hospital treatment or providing gap-free extras for kids.

But every family is different and whether you will need to adjust your extras to allow for additional dental, optical or podiatry benefits will depend on your individual circumstances and the ongoing health of your family.

Compare your options online or with an adviser

Details Features
High 65 / 75 / 85% - $0/$250/$500 Excess
High 65 / 75 / 85% - $0/$250/$500 Excess
Combines High Hospital Cover with its highest level of extras cover.
  • Cover starting from $44.74 weekly
  • 12 month waiting period for pregnancy
  • 65% back on extras
  • Choice of $0, $250 and $500 excess
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Premier Package
Premier Package
Top tier combined hospital and extras policy that covers you for an extensive range of hospital and general treatment services.
  • All the benefits of HCI's Premier Hospital policy
  • All the benefits of HCI's Premier Extras policy
  • Cover for pregnancy and IVF treatment
  • Cover for general and major dental
Get Quote More info
Deluxe flexi
Deluxe flexi
Deluxe flexi provides cover for a range of treatments including hip replacement, spinal fusion, dialysis and major eye surgery.
  • No excess for kids
  • All joint replacements
  • Major eye surgery
  • Rehabilitation
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GoldStar
GoldStar
Premium hospital cover with complete cover for hospital expenses. Save 4% when you pay for 12 months of your cover upfront.
  • All theatre fees covered
  • Unlimited maternity cover
  • Choose no excess or $200, $400, $500 per admission
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Smart Combination
Smart Combination
Smart combination provides a high level of cover for both hospital and extras.
  • Claim up to $2725 back on extras
  • Hip and knee replacements
  • General and major dental
  • Physio
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Prestige
Prestige
Highest level of combined cover offered by CBHS. Includes the same benefits as Comprehensive Hospital and Top Extras plus more. Restricted fund: Only current or former staff (and their families) of Commonwealth Bank Group and their subsidiaries which include Aussie, Bankwest, Colonial First State and more can join.
  • No excess or co-payments on hospital cover
  • Non-student dependent under 25 can be kept on policy
  • Access to Chronic Disease Management Programs
  • Widest range of extras including orthodontics
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Bronze Hospital (no pregnancy) and Bronze Extras Set Benefits
Bronze Hospital (no pregnancy) and Bronze Extras Set Benefits
High level of hospital cover and extras cover for a range of popular services including knee and should reconstructions.
  • Most comprehensive hospital options
  • Cover for general and major dental
  • Shared or single room in a private hospital
  • Intensive and coronary care
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Premium Hospital and Silver Extras Cover
Premium Hospital and Silver Extras Cover
Comprehensive hospital cover including pregnancy cover. Also included affordable mid-level extras cover for dental, optical and therapies.
  • Cover from $39.50 per week
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services cover
  • Heart surgery cover
  • 100% cash back on two dental check per year
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Top Hospital with Top Extras
Top Hospital with Top Extras
Get comprehensive hospital and extras cover and tailor your policy to your needs.
  • Pregnancy and birth services cover
  • Back surgery cover
  • $1000 general dental annual limit
  • $600 physiotherapy annual limit
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Young Couples Combined Cover
Young Couples Combined Cover
Mid-level hospital and basic level Extras package with an excess for young, healthy couples that are not quite ready to start a family.
  • Emergency ambulance cover
  • Cancer-related surgery cover
  • 70% back on extras
  • $300 dental annual limit per person
Enquire Now More info

What age will my children be covered until?

Your children will continue to be covered on your family health insurance policy until they reach the age of 25, after which they must take out their own insurance. Until that time, they will fall into one of three classifications for insurance purposes:

  • Child dependant. A child dependant is an unmarried dependant up to the age of 21 who is reliant on the policyholder for financial support.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is an unmarried dependant aged between 21 and 25 who is studying full time and therefore dependent on the policyholder for financial support.
  • Adult dependant. An adult dependant is an unmarried dependant aged between 21 and 25 who is not studying full time (many insurers will cover this category, but will charge an additional loading).

Are there children-only policies?

It's rare to find a policy that offers health insurance for kids only. While you may be able to find a fund that is willing to cover just your kids, it may not be the best use of your money. Most policies will provide cover for your children at no extra cost.

What age do you have to be to take out a policy?

Health fundWhat age do you have to be to take out a policy?Find out more
health.com.aulogo
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to take out your own policy. Persons under 16 will have to be covered under a single parent or family policy as a dependent.
More info
ahm
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to hold cover as a principal member with ahm.
More info
Australian Unity
  • Unless it is otherwise agreed to by Australian Unity, you must be aged 15 years or older to hold membership in your own right.
More info
nib
  • Membership as a policyholder is restricted to those aged 16 years or older unless otherwise approved by nib.
More info

For a more comprehensive list of pregnancy benefits from Australian health funds, consult the table at the end of this article.

What should you look for in a policy that covers kids?

Child-friendly benefits to look for in a good family health insurance policy might include:

  • Cover for an adult dependant up to the age of 25 without having to pay an additional loading
  • No excess payable if your child is admitted to hospital (most policies include this)
  • No-gap extras benefits for kids (such as dental check-ups, teeth cleaning, fillings and x-rays)
  • Cover for pregnancy and IVF treatment if you are planning to have a baby
  • Extras cover that suits your family members’ specific needs (e.g. more generous dental or optical if there are orthodontic or vision problems, or more physio and chiro if you are a sporting family)

Do you need extras cover?

While some level of hospital cover is necessary to provide protection if a family member needs hospital treatment, good extras cover is vital for families, as ancillary services are not covered by Medicare and services such as dental, optical, podiatry, physio and chiro are used regularly by most growing families.

While children are automatically covered for extras on a family policy, you need to ensure that the benefit limits offered are high enough to cater for the needs of your family. Ideally you should look for a policy that offers individual benefit limits rather than overall capped limits, which a large family can quickly exceed in a year.

Medicare's Child Dental Benefits Schedule provides $1,000 in dental benefits every two years for eligible children, so it might also be worth looking into this when deciding on how much extras cover you need.

Health insurance and pregnancy related services

If you’re planning on starting a family, you will need to upgrade your policy as early as possible. Most policies do not cover pregnancy and birth-related services, so you will need to add this benefit on or look for a policy that covers it. All health insurance policies covering pregnancy include a standard 12-month waiting period, so you should upgrade to pregnancy cover at least three months before attempting to conceive.

Pregnancy and birth-related services typically covered by private health insurance include accommodation and labour ward costs and doctors’ fees at a private hospital of your choice, plus full or part payment of obstetrician’s fees during delivery and in some cases prenatal classes. If you need to use assisted reproductive services (IVF or GIFT), private health insurance policies that cover them will typically include in-hospital services related to egg collection and embryo transfer.

It’s important to be aware that pregnancy and assisted reproduction both involve some out-of-hospital services such as specialist consultations and tests, and while some of these can be claimed with Medicare, you should expect some out-of-pocket expenses as private health insurance only covers the in-hospital component.

Compare health insurance for kids online or with the help of an adviser

How health funds determine if someone can take out a policy

Health fundWhat age do you have to be to take out a policy?Find out more
ahm
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to hold cover as a principal member with ahm.
More info
Australian Unity
  • Unless it is otherwise agreed to by Australian Unity,  you must be aged 15 years or older to hold membership in your own right.
More info
health.com.aulogo
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to take out your own policy. Persons under 16 will have to be covered under a single parent or family policy as a dependent.
More info
 medibank
  • To qualify as a policyholder or principal member you must be aged 16 years or older.
More info
onemedifundlogo
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to become a policy holder. If you are under 16 years of age you are classified as a dependent and must be covered under a family policy.
More info
nib
  • Membership as a policyholder is restricted to those aged 16 years or older unless otherwise approved by nib.
More info
westfund provider link
  • If you are aged 18 years or older you are free to apply as a primary member for a policy.
More info

Compare health insurance for kids online or with the help of an adviser

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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