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Health insurance for young singles

Discover how you can benefit from health insurance while you're young and single.

Health insurance is not something reserved for older Australians. There are many services young Australians can take advantage of including physio, acupuncture, remedial massage and gym memberships.

Health insurance doesn't have to break the bank either. Extras-only cover can be bought for under $10 a week.

Keep reading to find out how you can benefit from taking out health insurance as a young single and protect yourself today.

Cheapest singles policies from funds

If you earn over $90,000 and all you care about is avoiding the Medicare Levy Surcharge, here are the entry-level options from the funds in our panel.

Why do the young and single need health cover?

One common choice young Australians make when looking for cover is to opt for the cheapest policy available, which invariably is an extras-only policy. While the young and single may not be as susceptible to illness as the very young or old, they are susceptible (like everyone) to injury ... and maybe even more accident-prone.

Those aged between 15 to 34 make up a bulk of the hospital admissions into emergency departments each year. According to a study conducted by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW), in 2014-15 Australians in this age bracket accounted for 2,045,943 visits to the emergency room. Of that 1,031,769 were aged 15-24 and 1,014,174 were aged 25-34. That means the young accounted for almost 28% of all emergency department admissions.

What should you be looking for in a singles policy?

There are a number of reasons why you should take out private health cover you're young and find the best health insurance for young singles.

It’s important for all Australians to choose a policy that is suited to their life stage. So if you’re a young and healthy single with no medical concerns, you may want to choose a policy that provides cover for the services you need and excludes the service you don’t use.

However, settling on these benefits is not always easy. As the AIHW statistics showed, more than 2.04 million Australians between the ages of 15-34 needed treatment in an emergency room in 2014/15. This means these people may have been able to benefit from having cover for emergency ambulance transport and treatment after the accident. But how else can young singles benefit from having health insurance?

Hospital benefits

The main advantages of singles hospital insurance over the public system are that:

  • You have the choice of your own doctor
  • You can stay in a private room
  • You don't have to join a public waiting list for an elective surgery

Extras benefits

If you're happy to rely on the public hospital system but still want access to extras such as optical and physio, an ancillary (extras) policy may be the better option for you. Extras policies can be taken out for under $10 a week and can provide you with access to a range of extras including:

  • Gym membership subsidies
  • Swimming lessons and training
  • Optical
  • Remedial massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Physio
  • Yoga

There are a range of broader health programs available and these benefits differ from fund to fund, so make sure you review the policy before making a decision to make sure you're getting the most out of your cover.

Getting off your parents' policy

There are several reasons why you might have to leave your parents' health fund including:

  • Turned 25? Once you've turned 25 you will no longer be able to be listed as a dependant on your parents' policy.
  • Finished studying? If you've graduated from your full-time studies, depending on the policy, you may no longer be able to be covered by your parents' health insurance. Some funds offer cover to adult dependants (as opposed to student dependants) up until the age of 25.
  • Got a full time job? If you've found yourself full-time employment you may no longer be able to be covered by your parents policy if you're over 25 and no longer living at home.
  • Got married? To be classified as a child, student or adult dependant with most health funds you need to be unmarried.

How do partners define dependants?

FundFamily health insurance conditions for dependantsMore info about fund
  • Child dependant. Child dependants are covered up until 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered as a student up until 24 years of age if they are engaged in full-time study.
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  • Child dependant. Children are covered until they reach 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. A child who is enrolled in full-time study and aged between 21 and 25.
More info
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is the child of the member who is not married or living in a de facto relationship and is under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child who is unmarried, is over 21 but is under the age of 25, and engaged in full-time education.
  • Adult dependant. An adult dependant is a child who is unmarried, is over 21 but is under 25 years of age, and no undertaking full-time study.
More info
Australian Unity
  • Child dependant. A dependant is a child aged up to 23 years old who is unmarried.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is able to be covered on your family policy until they reach 25 years of age. This is provided they aren't married and are enrolled in an approved course.
More info
GMHBA health fund
  • Child dependant. You can be covered as a child dependant until the age of 21 if you're no longer a student.
  • Student dependant. You can be covered as a student dependant if you're engaged in full-time study and under 25 years of age.
More info
  • Child dependant. Your children are automatically covered under your family cover until the day before they turn 22.
  • Student dependant. If your child is enrolled in full-time study they'll be covered at no extra cost until the day before they turn 25 or cease full time study (whichever comes first).
More info
  • Child dependant. Your children can be covered until they reach 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. You're children are covered if they are unmarried, enrolled in full-time study and aged between 21 and 25 years of age.
More info
Transport Health
  • Child dependant. Children can remain on their parent’s policy if they're under 23 and not married.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone who is enrolled in full-time study, fully dependant on their parents and under 25 years of age.
  • Adult dependant. You are able to get cover for your children aged between 21 and 25 who are not studying full-time with the Extended Family Cover.
More info

You can see the full list of Australian health funds and how they define dependants in our family health insurance article.

Benefits of keeping your single cover even when you're a couple

It may be tempting to switch from a singles to a couples policy when you're in a relationship. While it may be more convenient to have just one policy to think about, the policy may not be providing you with the best value for money. This is especially true for health insurance for young singles.

There are no discounts for getting a couples policy, which is fine if you and your partner have the same health needs and requirements. However, this is rarely the case.

If you currently have a barebones policy but your partner has high extras because they need glasses or high hospital with cover for pregnancy, getting a joint health insurance policy doesn't make much financial sense as you'd be shouldering the cost of benefits you don't need.

Compare your cover options today

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the insurance editor at He is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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