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Kids health insurance

Kids health insurance can be added to your own policy, but it's tricky to find options if you're only wanting to insure them.

What you need to know

Are there children-only health insurance policies?

It's rare to find a policy that offers health insurance for kids only. While you may be able to find a fund that is willing to cover just your kids, it may not be the best use of your money. Most family health insurance policies will provide cover for your children at no extra cost. Single parent health insurance is also an option if you don't have a partner.

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What age will my children be covered until?

Your children will continue to be covered on your family health insurance policy until they reach the age of 25, after which they must take out their own insurance. Until that time, they will fall into one of three classifications for insurance purposes:

  • Child dependant. A child dependant is an unmarried dependent up to the age of 21 who is reliant on the policyholder for financial support.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is an unmarried dependent aged between 21 and 25 who is studying full time and therefore dependent on the policyholder for financial support.
  • Adult dependant. An adult dependant is an unmarried dependent aged between 21 and 25 who is not studying full time (many insurers will cover this category, but will charge an additional loading).

Finder survey: What are the main reasons Australians have hospital insurance?

ResponseFemaleMale
To get better health care for my family9.96%9.58%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

At what age can you have your own policy?

If you are or know a young person that needs private health insurance on their own, then you can generally take out your own policy once you turn 16. However, some insurers will issue health insurance at even younger ages. Here are the minimum age limits for cover from some Finder partners.

Health fundWhat age do you have to be to take out a policy?Find out more
AAMI logo
  • You must be at least 16 years old to join AAMI Health Insurance online.
More info
ahm health fund
  • You must be aged 16 years or older to hold cover as a principal member with ahm.
Get quote
HCF Logo Image: Supplied
  • To qualify as a policyholder or principal member you must be aged 16 years or older.
Get quote
Medibank
  • To qualify as a policyholder or principal member you must be aged 16 years or older.
Get quote
nib logo Image: Supplied
  • Membership as a policyholder is restricted to those aged 16 years or older unless otherwise approved by nib.
Get quote
Qantas Logo
  • You must be at least 16 years old to join Qantas.
Get quote
Suncorp Logo
  • You must be at least 16 years old to join Suncorp Health Insurance online.
More info
CUA Logo
  • You can apply for a health a cover from age 1 and up.
More info
australian unity logo
  • Unless it is otherwise agreed to by Australian Unity, you must be aged 16 years or older to hold membership in your own right.
More info

What should you look for in a policy that covers children?

Child-friendly benefits to look for in a good family health insurance policy might include:

  • Cover for an adult dependant up to the age of 25 without having to pay an additional loading
  • No excess payable if your child is admitted to hospital (most policies include this)
  • No-gap extras benefits for kids (such as dental check-ups, teeth cleaning, fillings and x-rays)
  • Cover for pregnancy and IVF treatment if you are planning to have a baby
  • Extras cover that suits your family members’ specific needs (e.g. more generous dental or optical if there are orthodontic or vision problems, or more physio and chiro if you are a sporting family)

Do you need extras cover?

While some level of hospital cover is necessary to provide protection if a family member needs hospital treatment, good extras cover is vital for families, as ancillary services are not covered by Medicare and services such as dental, optical, podiatry, physio and chiro are used regularly by most growing families.

While children are automatically covered for extras on a family policy, you need to ensure that the benefit limits offered are high enough to cater for the needs of your family. Ideally you should look for a policy that offers individual benefit limits rather than overall capped limits, which a large family can quickly exceed in a year.

Medicare's Child Dental Benefits Schedule provides $1,000 in dental benefits every two years for eligible children, so it might also be worth looking into this when deciding on how much extras cover you need.

If you’re planning on starting a family and want private health insurance to cover your pregnancy, you'll want to upgrade your policy at least 12 months before getting pregnant. Health insurance for pregnancy requires a Gold-tier policy and comes with a 12-month waiting period.

Covered pregnancy and birth-related services may include accommodation, labour ward costs and doctors’ fees, plus some obstetrician’s fees during delivery. If you need assisted reproductive services like IVF, private health insurance policies that cover them will typically include in-hospital services related to egg collection and embryo transfer.

Note that pregnancy also involves out-of-hospital services that can't be claimed on private health insurance or Medicare. You should expect some out-of-pocket expenses if you choose to give birth in the private system.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    BenMay 31, 2023

    We are Australian citizens that reside in the UAE and are considered Non-residents for TAX purposes. We are sending our 11 yr old to Australian bording school from Jan 2024. Is there a private heath inurance provider that would suite our circumstance?

      AvatarFinder
      JamesJune 9, 2023Finder

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your message. You can find out more on finding health cover for non-residents in our guide to overseas visitor health cover. There we list 19 providers – it may be a good idea to reach out to funds directly and see if they can offer cover that’s right for your specific requirements.

      Best,

      James

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