Leaving your family health policy

If you’re over 31, it’s definitely time to look for your own health cover.

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At the moment, you can often stick around on your parents' health insurance policy until you're 25. However, on 22 June 2021, the Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Age of Dependants) Bill 2021 was passed, which will allow health funds to increase the maximum age of a dependant on a policy to 31. Age limits for dependants with a disability will be scrapped completely.

It's still not clear when health funds will implement the changes, but if you're over 31, it's safe to say you'll need to forge off on your own. You can get hospital cover from $17 per week to cover you for accidents and ambulances.

How long can you stay on your parents' health insurance policy?

How long you can stay on your parents' policy depends on the fund. Generally, funds will have separate rules for child dependants, student dependants and adult dependants.

The table below summarises the age limits of each type of dependant for every Australian health fund. The dropdown below the table contains more information on the conditions imposed by each fund.

Why do you need to leave your family policy?

There are a few reasons you might have to leave your parents' health fund and take out cover on your own. For example, if:

  • You turn 25. Before you turn 25, your parents will generally receive an email letting them know you'll no longer be eligible to be listed as a dependant on their health insurance policy. In some cases, this is earlier. As of yet, no funds haved updated their policies to 31 in line with the new government legislation.
  • You graduate. You can sometimes stay on your family policy for longer if you're a full-time student.
  • You start a full-time job. Most health funds will no longer classify you as a dependant once you get a stable, full-time job.
  • You get married. Most insurers state that in order to be classified as a dependant, you must be unmarried.

Compare cheap health insurance options

If one of the above applies to you, here are some of the cheapest health insurance options from Finder partners. They cover the basics you're most likely to need like emergency ambulance and dental.

Prices quoted are for a single policy in Sydney with a $500 excess.

Name Product Hospital treatments included Extras included Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
ahm starter flexi basic package
    • Ambulance
    • Private or shared room
    • General dental ($550)
    • Physio
    • Chiro
$86.10
Join hospital & extras by Dec 2 to get $100 off for couples & families and $50 off for singles. For new joins after first 60 days. Promo Code: $OFFAHM
HCF My Future 250 Basic Plus
    • Dental Surgery
    • Ambulance Cover
    • Joint reconstructions
    • Combined extras limit ($600)
    • Physiotherapy
    • Chiropractic
$94.45
HCF members can get loyalty rewards and discounts across Australian stores.
Frank Freedom Saver Flexi-Bundle (Basic+)
    • Ambulance
    • Private or shared room
    • Dental Surgery
    • General dental ($700)
    • Optical ($150)
$100.05
Medibank Basic Plus Healthy Start + Healthy Start Extras
    • Ambulance
    • Joint reconstructions
    • Dental surgery
    • General dental ($500)
    • Optical ($150)
    • Physio
$107.95
Get up to 40,000 points + Waive 2 & 6 months waiting periods. Promo Code: LIVEBETTER. T&Cs apply.
HCF Hospital Bronze Plus + Starter extras
    • Private room in private hospital
    • Ambulance Cover
    • Joint Reconstructions
    • General Dental ($350)
    • Physiotherapy ($150)
$99.55
HCF members can get loyalty rewards and discounts across Australian stores.
Qantas Basic Hospital + Basic Extras
    • Ambulance
    • Private hospital room
    • Dental surgery
    • General dental
    • Physio
$111.02
Get up to 120,000 points + Skip the waits for 2 & 6 month waiting periods.
HBF Bronze Hospital Plus + Flex 50
    • Ambulance
    • Dental surgery
    • Palliative care
    • Unlimited preventative dental
    • Optical ($200)
$111.77
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Compare up to 4 providers

If you've got to get your own cover, don't just get what your parents had

In most cases, your health needs won't be the same as your parents, so why would you get the same policy? A 2017 survey conducted by Finder found that 28% of people took out cover with the same fund as their parents, which when you think about it doesn't make sense.

Take the time to sit down and work out what you want out of a policy. Hospital cover might not make sense to you at this stage of your life and that's fine. But, maybe you want cover for going to the dentist or visiting the optometrist. It's all about finding the value.

Medicare is free – so why should you bother with health insurance?

If you're young and fit, private health insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense, particularly once your parents are no longer footing the bill. Here's why it's a good idea to consider getting your own cover:

  • Extras are expensive. Whether you've been used to getting regular dental checkups, sessions with a psychologist or occasional remedial massages for a sports injury, the cost of these can add up and be considerably more than the cost of insurance.
  • Emergencies happen. As mentioned before, those aged between 25 and 34 have a decent chance of winding up in the emergency room. Not only can health insurance cover the bill for the ambulance, if you require follow-up treatment for say a torn ACL, you'll be able to skip the public waiting list and be treated in a private hospital by a doctor of your choosing.

Do you want hospital, extras or both?

Whether you get hospital, extras or a combined policy will depend on your needs and can suit singles, couples and young families. But, it's all about working out which policy is right for you.

Hospital icon

Hospital coverage

Hospital cover is designed to protect you against the cost of a wide range of in-hospital procedures. It includes cover for accommodation in either a public or private hospital, your choice of doctor, theatre costs and other expenses associated with your medical treatment. Hospital cover offers a long list of benefits for young singles, including:

  • Cover to suit your needs and budget. Australian private health funds offer a wide range of hospital cover options so that you can choose a policy that suits your needs and budget. There are even some policies specifically created to meet the health insurance requirements of young singles.
  • Tax breaks. Taking out hospital cover means you can avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and also access the Australian Government's private health insurance rebate to make cover more affordable.
  • Avoid Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. If you take out private hospital cover before your 31st birthday, you can avoid paying extra for cover thanks to the LHC scheme.
  • Peace of mind. Hospital cover provides you with the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing you will be able to pay your medical bills if you ever suffer an unexpected illness or injury.
  • Cover for a wide range of services. From knee reconstructions and appendix removal to pregnancy and birth-related services, hospital cover provides protection against the cost of a wide range of in-hospital procedures.

Extras icon

Extras coverage

Extras-only insurance provides cover for a wide range of out-of-pocket medical expenses that are not covered by Medicare. Sometimes also referred to as general treatment cover or ancillary cover, extras-only health insurance covers you for out-of-hospital medical services such as optical, dental, physio, chiro, podiatry, natural therapies and much more. There are plenty of reasons why young singles can benefit from having extras cover in place, including:

  • Choose cover that suits your needs. Whether you want basic extras cover for some essential treatments, or comprehensive extras cover for a wide range of treatment options, Australian health insurers have extras cover policy options to suit everyone. Some insurers even have extras policies designed with young singles in mind.
  • Standalone or combined. You can take out standalone extras cover or combine it with hospital cover for a higher level of protection.
  • Ambulance cover. Many extras policies also include cover for the cost of emergency ambulance transportation and treatment, which is not covered by Medicare.
  • Reduce healthcare costs. Extras policies provide cover for the cost of a wide range of general treatments, allowing you to take better care of your health.
  • Government rebate. Taking out extras cover entitles you to the Australian Government's private health insurance rebate, which helps make cover more affordable.

Clipboard icon

Combined coverage

Combined cover is a health insurance policy that offers both hospital and extras cover in the one package. This allows you to enjoy the convenience of taking out the two main types of private health insurance – hospital cover for in-hospital treatment and extras cover for general treatments like optical and dental – in one policy. The vast majority of Australian private health insurers offer a range of combined cover options, and taking out this type of insurance has many benefits for young singles, including:

  • It's tailored to your needs. Many insurers offer combined cover options that have been specifically designed with the needs of young singles in mind. This means you only pay for the services you are likely to use and none that you won't.
  • You only have to manage one policy instead of two. Combined cover allows you to manage your hospital and extras cover in the one policy. This can make it easier to compare, choose and purchase cover.
  • Potential discounts. When you purchase combined hospital and extras cover many funds have member only discounts that will be available to you.
  • Wide range of cover. Having both hospital and extras cover in place means you are covered for an extensive range of in-hospital services and general treatment options.

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Picture: Toa Heftiba - Unsplash

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    ArabellaOctober 22, 2021

    Does leaving your family medicare card affect staying on your family health care.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesNovember 8, 2021Staff

      Hi Arabella,

      No, it won’t typically affect your ability to stay on your family health care plan. You can have your own Medicare card and still be included on your family’s private health insurance policy as long as you’re eligible.

      Best,
      James

    Default Gravatar
    StarDecember 5, 2018

    If I am a young adult on my parents insurance and want elective surgery – do I need my parent’s consent?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniDecember 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Star,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      If you are listed as a dependent, it’s technically your parents that hold the policy. Some insurers don’t require for your parents’ consent if the procedure is covered in the policy. It is best to check with the health fund directly and speak to them about the specific treatment so they can check if your parents would get billed for excess etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

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