What you need to know
- Children are expensive. You probably already knew that.
- You can add your newborn to your existing hospital cover.
- The process is slightly different depending on which policy you are currently on.
Good news! It's pretty easy to add a baby to your current private hospital policy. You just need to call your health insurer and they'll sort out the details. What's also nice is any waiting periods you've served on your policy will automatically transfer to bub, so long as you register them quickly enough.
There are some important details to know though. How much your premiums will change, as well as how soon you want to register your baby, change depending on your current coverage type. Each option is broken down below.
If you're on a singles policy, you'll need to upgrade to a single parent policy. This will have higher premiums than your old policy, but it won't be quite as expensive as a family policy would. You typically have just 2 months after birth to change your policy for them to be covered without waiting periods. Sometimes you have even less time - Bupa, for example, only gives you 90 days. Check with your fund.
If you and your partner are covered by a couples policy, then you'll need to upgrade to a family policy. This will be slightly more expensive than your current policy, but probably not by a huge amount. You'll need to do this within a month of 2 of your baby's birth to have them covered without waiting periods. The exact deadline changes by fund.
If you're already on a family or single parent health insurance policy, then all you need to do is to register your baby on your policy. Your premiums should be largely unaffected. Just get in contact with your health fund within 12 months of your baby's birth in order to have your served waiting periods applied to them as well. This deadline changes between brands - Bupa, for example, allows you to add child dependents at any time and still avoid waiting periods.
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How long your children can stay on your health insurance policy is up to your health fund. Generally a 'child dependent' can be covered until they're around 20 years old. If your child is a student, or classes as an 'adult dependent' they can sometimes stay on your policy until they are 31 years old, if your fund allows it. Read more about health insurance dependent ages by fund here.
Adding your baby to your private hospital insurance policy is generally a good move. If shouldn't increase your premiums by too much, but your baby will be covered as an inpatient at private hospitals in Australia. If you have an extras policy, your baby may also be able to benefit from it too, although more likely when they get a little older. Some extras treatments can be partially covered for children by specific government schemes though - make sure you check what's available in your state.
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