Compare couples health insurance to save yourself heaps of time and admin.
We get it, it's probably easier to keep your adult admin in one place. Getting a joint health insurance policy can be
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What you'll get:
- 100% free expert advice
- Pay the same as going direct
- Instant advice if you call 1300 594 882
Things you need to know
You can choose from extras, hospital or both in a couples policy.
You'll still have solo extras limits.
You both have to have the same level of cover.
What counts as a couple for health insurance?
For purposes of health insurance, a couple is considered any two people who are married, in a registered relationship or in a defacto relationship. You may be required to provide evidence of your status.
Is it possible to combine benefit limits?
Unfortunately, most benefits have "per person" limits. So even on a dedicated couple’s policy, one partner can’t blow through their limits and then tap into the other person’s benefits. So if you were hoping you could both swap your extras around to make them go farther, you’re out of luck.
Will combining our policies have any effect on our Medicare Levy Surcharge?
No. Your Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge obligations are calculated based on your official status as a couple and on your level of cover. It doesn’t have anything to do with how any particular insurer has decided to bundle their products.
What to look for in your couples policy
So you’ve decided to go for it. Having the same level of cover as your partner makes sense, and you’ll take any little convenience you can get. Let’s look at some ways you can get the most bang for your buck:
- Dig for some deals. Save some cash or grab some other perks by taking advantage of sign-up bonuses. Insurers will offer discounts, a free month of cover, waived waiting periods and other perks just to get your business. Tell them it’s for a couple and you may get double.
- Eyeball your extras. If you go for an extras package, make sure it has something for both of you. You don’t want your partner going without her eyeglasses while you sit back and enjoy your remedial massages.
- Pay upfront. If the two of you can scrounge up enough money to pay for a full year in advance, you might get some love from the insurer in the form of a discount.
- Look closer to home. If you love your current policy, there’s no use giving up on it. Check if they have a couple’s policy, and try to negotiate a discount or other perks in return for bringing your partner to the party.
A few things to know about couples health insurance
There are a few things insurers don't tell you. When you dig into the details, you’ll find there isn’t much to a couples product that sets it apart:
A couples health policy is no cheaper than two singles policies
Private health insurance in Australia hinges on the principle of "community rating", meaning insurers can’t charge one person more than another for the same policy. Offering you a discount just because you’ve joined someone else’s policy wouldn’t be fair to all the other singles out there.
You could end up paying for protection you don't need
A couples policy requires both people to have the same level of protection. If one of you needs a more expensive policy, then the other person will have to pay the same rate. Case in point: if the woman needs to be covered for pregnancy, the man will also need to pay for his own pregnancy benefits.
*Singles price is based on a single male living in the State of New South Wales in April 2018. Couples policy based on living in NSW in April 2018.
Taking out two singles policies
Let’s see what you’ve gained:
- You can be more nimble. If either one of you need extra protection down the road, that person can easily upgrade without the other having to wiggle out of a policy that’s suddenly become too expensive for them.
If you’re wondering what you’re giving up, the answer is: not much. But if you’re still concerned, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be:
You can still act on each other’s behalf
By joining a couples policy, you’ll automatically have authority to speak on each other’s behalf and make changes to the policy. But you can do something similar on separate policies. Simply fill out a delegated authority form for each policy, and you’ll be granted with many of the same authorisations.
You can streamline your charges
A combined policy will conveniently send you one combined bill, payable via a combined direct debit. Although you can’t do exactly this with separate policies, you can get close. Just have both bills debited on the day using the same card by requesting that your individual providers change your payment date and funding sources.
You’re not missing out on the mythical “combined extras”
Let’s say you’re more likely to visit the dentist while your partner visits a physio more than you do. It’s tempting to think a combined policy will let you tap into each other’s benefit limits to make them go farther. But that’s not the way it works. With a combined policy, the benefit limits are applied on a "per person" basis. Nothing to be gained here.
What if we are planning to start a family?
Remaining on two separate singles policies makes sense especially if you’re planning to start a family, so just wait after the baby’s born to sort everything out.
This will keep you from paying double for pregnancy cover. But more importantly, your baby’s insurance needs will be fully met from their date of birth even if you organise their cover later.
You or your partner’s existing insurer will let you wait until after your child’s birth (usually around two months after delivery) to add them as a dependent the singles policy or to upgrade everyone onto a family policy. They’ll backdate the baby’s start date to his or her date of birth so there’s no gap in protection.