Kids health insurance
Kids health insurance can be added to your own policy, but it's tricky to find options if you're only wanting to insure them.
Are there children-only health insurance 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 family health insurance policies will provide cover for your children at no extra cost. Single parent health insurance is also an option if you don't have a partner.
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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 dependent up to the age of 21 who is reliant on the policyholder for financial support.
- Student dependant. A student dependant is an unmarried dependent 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 dependent aged between 21 and 25 who is not studying full time (many insurers will cover this category, but will charge an additional loading).
At what age can you have your own policy?
If you are or know a young person that needs private health insurance on their own, then you can generally take out your own policy once you turn 16. However, some insurers will issue health insurance at even younger ages. Here are the minimum age limits for cover from some Finder partners.
|Health fund||What age do you have to be to take out a policy?||Find out more|
What should you look for in a policy that covers children?
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 and want private health insurance to cover your pregnancy, you'll want to upgrade your policy at least 12 months before getting pregnant. Health insurance for pregnancy requires a Gold-tier policy and comes with a 12-month waiting period.
Covered pregnancy and birth-related services may include accommodation, labour ward costs and doctors’ fees, plus some obstetrician’s fees during delivery. If you need assisted reproductive services like IVF, private health insurance policies that cover them will typically include in-hospital services related to egg collection and embryo transfer.
Note that pregnancy also involves out-of-hospital services that can't be claimed on private health insurance or Medicare. You should expect some out-of-pocket expenses if you choose to give birth in the private system.
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