Couple holding hands

Couples health insurance

Before you take out couples health insurance, know the facts.

Surely you can save some money by jumping onto a couples health insurance policy?

Well, maybe not. We’ll compare two singles policies vs one couples policy and you can decide for yourself which works best.If you'd prefer to jump straight in and search for yourself, you can quickly do that below.

Compare couples health insurance from 30+ Australian funds

Things you need to know

1
Other than minor conveniences, there are no real benefits.
2
You both have to have the same level of cover, which could end up costing more.
3
Two singles policies often works out better.

What 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:

Money bag 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.

Take a look at the table below, we've picked a mid level of cover from Australian health funds to demonstrate how much you would save (or pay) by taking out a couples policy rather than 2 singles.

ProvidersPolicy nameSingles Price*Couples PriceDifference
ACABare Essentials$90.99$181.99$0.01
AHMClassic$105.40$210.85$0.05
ApiaEssential Hospital$126.21$252.40-$0.02
Australian UnityMid Hospital$111.05$222.15$0.05
Budget DirectMid Hospital$91.20$182.45$0.05
Bupa HealthBudget Hospital$93.95$187.95$0.05
CBHS Health FundLimited Hospital 70$97.09$194.18$0.00
CBHS CorporateSilver Hospital$133.81$267.61-$0.01
CDHSilver Hospital Cover$126.31$252.62$0.00
CUAStandard Hospital$102.67$205.33-$0.01
Defence HealthValue Hospital 400$118.36$236.71-$0.01
Doctors Health FundSmart Starter$86.48$172.96$0.00
Emergency Service HealthLifelong Hospital$157.78$315.57$0.01
Frank Health InsuranceBest Hospital$138.63$277.26$0.00
GMHBAGold Hospital Level 2$145.32$290.64$0.00
GU HealthDiamond Hospital 500$101.51$203.02$0.00
HBFMid Family Hospital Cover$144.62$289.20-$0.04
HCFMid Hospital 500$101.25$202.50$0.00
Health CarePremier Hospital$170.61$335.48-$5.74
Health PartnersGold Value Hospital$137.27$274.53-$0.01
health.com.auCore Hospital$139.75$279.49-$0.01
HIFGoldVital Hospital$70.48$140.97$0.01
Latrobe HealthBasic hospital cover$100.02$200.04$0.00
MedibankHospital Essentials$74.62$149.24$0.00
Mildura Health FundBasic Hospital$97.93$195.86$0.00
Navy HealthCore Hospital 500$112.71$225.43$0.01
nibStandard Hospital 500$108.23$216.45-$0.01
Nurses and Midwives HealthMid Hospital 300$109.40$218.84$0.04
OnemedifundPrivate Plus Hospital$154.02$308.04$0.00
PeoplecareBasic Hospital$87.53$175.05-$0.01
Phoenix Health FindMid Hospital$119.41$238.83$0.01
Police HealthTop Hospital$153.40$306.80$0.00
Qantas AssureMid Hospital$109.44$218.87-$0.01
Reserve Bank Health SocietyGold Hospital$167.34$334.68$0.00
RT Health InsuranceStep Up Hospital$114.00$228.00$0.00
St. LukesHealthHospital 1000$125.53$251.05-$0.01
Teachers HealthMid Hospital 500$99.16$198.31-$0.01
TUHBudget Hospital$95.07$185.40-$4.74
Westfund HealthGold Hospital 500$157.80$315.82$0.22
ProvidersPolicy nameSingles PriceCouples PriceSavings
ACALite Cover$32.36$64.720.00
AHMLife Style$49.85$99.700.00
ApiaEssential Plus Extras$44.94$87.20-2.68
Australian UnityBronze Extras$30.55$61.150.05
Budget DirectBasic Extras 55%$32.90$65.850.05
Bupa HealthYour Choice Extras$37.35$74.700.00
CBHS Health FundIntermediate Extras$35.97$71.940.00
CBHS CorporateSilver Extras$47.00$93.98-0.02
CDHSupplementary Cover$72.95$145.900.00
CUAEssential Extras$22.12$44.250.01
Defence HealthEssentials Extras$22.01$44.020.00
Doctors Health FundEssential Extras$51.50$103.050.05
Emergency Service HealthLifelong Extras$97.30$194.59-0.01
Frank Health InsuranceSome Extras 80%$39.44$78.880.00
GMHBASilver Extras$39.08$78.15-0.01
GU HealthSilver Cover$101.44$202.87-0.01
HBFSaver Flexi Extras Cover$29.54$59.110.03
HCFSilver Plus Extras$28.75$57.510.01
Health CareActive Life Extras$27.82$55.60-0.04
Health PartnersSilver Extra$37.43$74.85-0.01
health.com.auExtras 50$52.59$105.190.01
HIFSpecial Options$39.83$79.36-0.30
Latrobe HealthBA: Basic Ancillary table$26.49$52.97-0.01
MedibankHealthy Start Extras$24.17$48.30-0.04
Mildura Health FundAncillary Plus and Dental$45.20$90.400.00
Navy HealthHealthy Living Extras$45.96$91.920.00
nibCore, Wellbeing and Young at Heart Extras$63.56$124.41-2.71
Nurses and Midwives HealthTop Extras$56.72$113.440.00
OnemedifundBasic Extras$37.70$75.39-0.01
PeoplecareMid Extras$48.00$96.010.01
Police HealthSureCover Extras$82.05$164.100.00
Qantas AssureLifestyle Extras$58.62$115.47-1.77
Reserve Bank Health SocietyExtras Cover$133.45$266.910.01
RT Health InsuranceSmart Extras$50.51$101.01-0.01
St. LukesHealthBudget Extras$22.67$45.350.01
Teachers HealthEssential Extras$36.55$73.110.01
Transport HealthHealthy Choice Extras$37.67$75.33-0.01
TUHMid Range Extras$44.46$88.03-0.89
Westfund HealthValue Extras$21.04$42.07-0.01

*Singles price is based on a single male living in the State of New South Wales in April 2018.

Thumbs down You could end up paying for protection you don't need

A couples policy isn’t very flexible and requires both people to have the same level of protection. If one of you needs a more expensive policy, then 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. You know, in case he ever needs to use them!

Telephone There are some administrative conveniences, but they’re not worth it for most couples

If you’re cool with not saving money and you both have the same insurance needs, then maybe you can eek out some logistical conveniences like receiving only a single bill and having mutual authority over the policy. But as you’ll see in the next section, you can use some workarounds to achieve similar results with two separate policies.

So what now?

Let’s explore your cover options. Pick from the singles or couples route and we’ll guide you through what to do next. You can compare cover from over 30 funds and get one more thing ticked off your to-do list.

Couples

How would you like to take out your health insurance?

Two singles policies

You’ve made a good decision by deciding to keep your policies separate. Let’s see what you’ve gained:

  • You’ve demonstrated your savviness. You didn’t fall for the empty promises and slick packaging. You did your due diligence and settled on the right choice, not the popular one.
  • 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.


One couples policy

Fair call – maybe those logistical conveniences take a weight off your plate. It makes perfect sense for certain couples who both need the same level of protection now and who don’t anticipate needing different levels of protection any time soon. Let’s dive into some of the details.

What counts as a couple?

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.

How to get the most value out of a combined policy

The key here is to do all you can to retain the same level of protection for both people so that one partner isn’t paying for unneeded benefits. A lot of that depends on your future plans and your individual risk factors. You’ll probably want to talk to an insurance broker who can help you understand how your future needs might affect your premiums.

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 or 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.



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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JoApril 3, 2017

    I went on your website to compare the market but got confused.

    My husband is 70yrs old I am 60. We have cover with HCF paying 240.00per month. We rarely claim anything. I want to know is there a fund cheaper which will cater for senior

    • Staff
      ZubairApril 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you for your question and sorry to hear you’re having trouble comparing your options.

      finder.com.au is a comparison and information service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalised financial advice or product recommendations.

      If you would like to compare couple policies from Australian health funds, please enter your details into quote comparison tool on this page.
      Once you have done you can sort your search results for cheap policies by selecting the option ‘Price (low to high)’ under ‘Relevance’ menu on the top right side of the screen.

      You may find our guide to seniors health insurance helpful.

      All the best,
      Zubair

  2. Default Gravatar
    AngelaMarch 9, 2017

    Join a restricted membership fund. If you are eligible, premiums are usually lower and benefits are higher.

    Who and what are a restricted membership fund?

    • Staff
      ZubairMarch 10, 2017Staff

      Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your question.

      Restricted health funds are the funds where membership is restricted to certain people. They are usually operated by industry or employment groups and are not-for-profit, being run solely for the benefit of their members. You can apply for cover to two restricted health funds through finder.com.au, CBHS and Teachers Health Fund.

      You may find our restricted health fund guide helpful, the table on that guide lists all the restricted health funds and conditions for joining these funds.

      Cheers,
      Zubair

  3. Default Gravatar
    JanMarch 30, 2016

    Quote for couple top hospital and top doctors. Price per month direct debit. Also names of hospital that is covered by your fund for etc St. vIncents private Lismore, Ballina PRivate Hospital and John Flynn Private Hospital Qld.

    • Staff
      RichardMarch 30, 2016Staff

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for getting in touch. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. If you would like to receive a quote from an advisor for the funds in our panel, please complete the contact form at the top of the page.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

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