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Health insurance for young adults

Take advantage of a youth discount with health insurance for young people.

What you need to know

  • People in their late teens and 20s can benefit from both private hospital and extras cover.
  • Once you hit 30, or earn over $90k, there are tax implications for not having hospital cover.
  • Young people can get up to a 10% discount on their health insurance premiums.

Pros and cons of health insurance for young people

Pros

  • Hospital insurance is usually cheap for young people and you get a government discount.
  • Extras insurance can help you access services like optical, dental and physiotherapy for less.
  • It's peace of mind knowing that if something unexpected does happen, you'll be able to access care in a private hospital at a lower cost.
  • If you earn over $90k or are over 30 years old,hospital health insurance will help you avoid the MLS and LHC.

Cons

  • Medicare will cover the cost of most medically necessary hospital care.
  • If you don't need coverage in a private hospital then it's an added expense..
  • Treatments like optical, dental and physio can be paid for our-of-pocket - depending on your needs, this may be more affordable.
  • Your parents' family health insurance may be able to cover you until you turn 25, for less than the cost of your own policy.

Hospital, Extras and Ambulance cover for young adults

Hospital cover icon

Hospital cover

Hospital cover can help pay for treatments that require you to go to hospital, like knee surgery or cancer treatment. Here are some of the key benefits of hospital cover:

  • Hospital trips are more common than you think. 25 to 34 years olds are the most common 10-year age group to need to go to the emergency department, according to the Emergency Department Care Report 2015-2016.
  • Avoid Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. By taking out hospital cover before your 31st birthday, you can avoid paying extra for cover thanks to the LHC.
  • More freedom. You get to choose your own doctor and you can get a private bed in a private room.
  • Get treatment quickly. Waiting times for treatments are usually much shorter.
  • Care beyond the basics provided by Medicare. It can get you cover for specialist treatment like rehabilitation.

Extras cover icon

Extras cover

Extras cover takes care of all the services that can be done out of hospital, like dental, physio and prescription glasses. Here are some of the key benefits of extras cover:

  • Out of hospital care. It can pay for dental treatment, glasses, physiotherapy, chiro and much more.
  • There's usually no lock-in contract. The beauty of extras cover is that you can usually cancel and you won't be charged a cancellation fee.
  • Access to care Medicare doesn't cover. Medicare doesn't cover extras services so unless you want to pay hundreds of dollars for treatment, you need extras health insurance.
  • Mental health support. It can also cover you for counselling sessions with a psychologist if you need to talk to someone.
  • Access to member discounts. Most policies come with perks, like gym membership subsidies, to help you keep fit and healthy, and save both you and your provider money.

Ambulance cover icon

Ambulance cover

If you don't want or need hospital or extras health insurance, it might still be worth taking out ambulance-only health insurance. Outside of Queensland and Tasmania, Ambulance services aren't covered by Medicare or state governments. Ambulance cover is available from around $1.50 a week, and will cover you for unexpected emergency trips.

Finder survey: How many Australians of different ages have health insurance?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
Combined45.45%29.07%34.16%32.54%40.54%23.68%31.76%
Hospital36.36%34.3%32.3%32.54%36.76%48.42%49.41%
Extras34.09%34.3%37.27%29.59%36.76%45.79%37.65%
None29.55%30.81%27.33%28.99%18.92%15.79%10.59%
Ambulance cover20.45%22.67%21.12%21.3%16.76%15.26%17.65%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

Cheap hospital cover

If you're looking for cheap hospital cover for tax, you might want to avoid Basic tier policies and start with at least Bronze cover. It's just a few dollars more per month, and actually offers some coverage. Basic cover isn't required to fully cover any treatments, so it's generally not going to be very useful.

Here are some Bronze tier policies from Finder partners. All of these will exempt you from the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and the Lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC). All prices are based on a single individual with less than $93,000 income and living in Sydney.

Name Product Treatments Price Apply
starter bronze
Bronze$750 excess
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +14 other treatments covered
$88.70
per month
Bronze Hospital 750
Bronze$750 excess
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +14 other treatments covered
$92.14
per month
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +14 other treatments covered
$93.64
per month
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +14 other treatments covered
$93.71
per month
starter bronze
Bronze$500 excess
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
  • +14 other treatments covered
$94.96
per month
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Good value extras cover

If you're after cheap extras cover, you could do worse than to start with these policies from Finder partners. It's sorted by value using the Finder score algorithm our experts use for the Finder health insurance awards. Prices are for a single person earning less than $93,000 living in Sydney, with a $750 excess - learn why this matters here.
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How we calculate our Finder Score

The Finder Score ranks every health policy in our database on value for money. We updated this monthly with data provided by Ombudsman.

We consider the 38 hospital treatment categories, plus the covered extras categories and the total extras benefit. We also use the average price for each product. Here's the breakdown of factors we consider.

How we calculate Health Insurance Finder ScoresHospitaltreatmentscovered25%Hospital price25%Total extrasbenefits12.5%Extras treatments12.5%Extras price25%Chart:Finder
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Factors that affect your health insurance premiums

There are several factors that will change the price of your health insurance premiums, whether you get hospital or extras cover. Here are the main ones to consider.
  • Private Health Insurance Rebate: The price of your policy can vary by over 25% due to rebate. It's mainly based on your age and income.
  • Lifetime Health Cover Loading: If you don't have hospital cover after age 31, a 2% loading will be added to the price each year you don't have it.
  • State: The cost of medical care is different in every state, and that's reflected in your premiums.
  • Policy Excess: A policy with a larger excess will have lower premiums, but you will have more out of pocket costs when you claim.
Name Product Treatments Price Apply
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +1 other treatments covered
$12.97
per month
HCF STARTER EXTRAS
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +1 other treatments covered
$13.16
per month
black 50 saver
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Hearing aids
$14.17
per month
Value Extras
Extras cover
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Hearing aids
$15.11
per month
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Psychology
  • Remedial Massage
  • Hearing aids
  • +1 other treatments covered
$17.42
per month
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Best sign up deals for April 2024 from Finder Partners

Check the deals below before buying health insurance and you could save money on your premium - or get a reward for signing up.

Name Product

Join and earn up to 120,000 Qantas Points

Ends 28 May 2024

Plus, get 60-75% back on Extras (up to your annual limit) for tihngs like dental, physio and glasses costs. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.


Get up to 8 weeks free

Ends 30 June 2024

When you join eligible cover by 30 June and stay with HCF. T&Cs Apply.


Get up to 8 weeks free

For new joins who maintain eligible combined hospital & extras. T&Cs apply. Learn more.


Want 6 weeks free and $500 in gift cards (couples/families) or $250 in gift cards (singles/single parents)?

When you join & maintain eligible Bronze Hospital+Extras or above. New members only. T&Cs apply.


Want a $50 gift card when you join & maintain eligible Extras?

Plus, get 2&6 month waits waived on extras. New members only. T&Cs apply.


Earn up to $760 in cashback and shopping rewards

Ends 28 March 2024

Improve your health and wellbeing and earn up to $760 in cashback and shopping rewards each membership year with AIA Health with AIA Vitality. T&Cs apply.


Get up to 8 weeks free + Waive 2 & 6 months waiting periods

Ends 30 April 2024

Join combined hospital & extras cover by 30 April 2024 for new members. T&Cs apply.

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