Leaving your family health policy

If you’re over 25, it’s definitely time to look for your own health cover.

You can likely stick around on your parent’s health insurance policy until you’re 21 (25 if you’re a student), but it’s time to forge off on your own after that. If you're after your very first health insurance purchase, there are plenty of starter policies designed just for you.

You can get hospital cover from $16 per week to cover you for accidents and ambulances.

Compare cheap health insurance options

Looking at taking out health insurance for yourself? Here you can find some of the cheapest options from Finder partners to get you started. They cover emergency ambulance, dental and other treatments.

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

Fund Hospital Treatments include Extras include Price per month Apply
ahm logostarter flexi basic package
  • Private or shared room
  • Ambulance Cover
  • General Dental ($550 combined limit)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
$82.15 Go to Site
HCF logoBronze Hospital + Starter extras
  • Private room in private hospital
  • Ambulance Cover
  • Joint Reconstructions
  • General Dental ($350)
  • Physiotherapy ($150)
$103.85 Go to Site
nib helath insurance logoBasic Essential Hospital Plus + Core Extras
  • Private room in private hospital
  • Ambulance cover
  • Joint Reconstructions
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Unlimited preventative dental
  • Optical ($250)
  • Physio ($350)
$106.02 Go to Site

Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.

Why are you leaving your family policy?

There are several reasons why you might have to leave your parents' health fund and take out cover on your own, including:

  • Turning 25. Following your 25th birthday, you will generally be ineligible to be listed as a dependant on your parents’ health insurance policy. The maximum age for student dependants is 25. A student dependant is someone who studies full-time and is financially reliant on their parents. If you’re not a full-time student, the cut-off age for dependants on many policies is 18 or 21 years.
  • Entering full-time employment. If you have a full-time job and have started earning a stable income, most health funds will no longer classify you as a dependant. This means it’s time to branch out on your own and find a policy for yourself.
  • Graduating. Finished your degree and no longer a full-time student? You will no longer be classified as a student dependant and will need to start shopping around for cover.
  • Getting married. Most insurers stipulate that in order to be classified as a dependant, you must be unmarried. So if you and your partner are walking down the aisle, it’s time to start looking for your own private health insurance.

How long can you stay on your parents' policy?

Title Dependant conditions
  • Child dependant. ACA consider children dependent until the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. If your child is unmarried or in a non de facto relationship while a full-time students earning less than $20,000 per year, they can remain covered on your family policy until they reach 25 years of age at no extra cost.
  • Adult dependant. If your child is between 21 and 25 years of age, not studying full-time and is unmarried, they are able to be covered for an additIonal 30% loading.
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is the child of the member who is not married or living in a de facto relationship and is under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child who is unmarried, is over 21 but is under the age of 25, and engaged in full-time education.
  • Adult dependant. An adult dependant is a child who is unmarried, is over 21 but is under 25 years of age, and no undertaking full-time study.
  • Child dependant. A dependant is a child aged up to 23 years old who is unmarried.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is able to be covered on your family policy until they reach 25 years of age. This is provided they aren't married and are enrolled in an approved course.
  • Child dependant. A dependent child means a person who does not have a partner and is under 21 or is engaged in full time study and under 25 years of age.
  • Adult dependent. A dependant child non-student is someone who is between the ages of 18 and 24 and isn't studying in a full-time capacity.
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is someone who is unmarried, aged under 18 and is a child, stepchild or Foster Child who lives with the policyholder.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is at least 18 but under 25 years of age, unmarried and participating in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. This is a non-student dependant who is a child of the a policyholder, unmarried and over the age of 18 but under the age of 25.
  • Child dependant. Child dependants are children or dependents under 21 years.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child under the age of 25 and studying full-time.
  • Child dependant. Family policies provide cover for the policyholder any dependant children/young adults until their 23rd birthday.
  • Student dependant. Full-time student dependants are covered up until they turn 25. Student dependants must be registered each year from when they turn 23 years of age.
  • Dependent child. A child dependant is someone who is unmarried and under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone who is between 21 and 24 years of age and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. This is a dependant child who is unmarried, not enrolled in full-time study and is between 21 and 24 years of age.
  • Child dependant. Your children can be covered by your family membership up to the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. Your children can continue to be covered by the family's membership until the age of 25 .
  • Child dependant. Children are covered until they turn 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Student Dependants are covered until they turn 25 years of age, provided they are in full time study.
GMF Health
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is someone who is unmarried and under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone who is aged between 18 and 25 years of age, enrolled in full-time studies and don't have a taxable income in excess of what is stipulated by HBF.
  • Adult dependant. Adult dependants are children who are under 25, unmarried, fully dependent on their parents and don't have a taxable income in excess of what is stipulated by HBF.
  • Child dependant. You can be covered as a child dependant until the age of 21if you're no longer a student.
  • Student dependant. You can be covered as a student dependant if you're engaged in full-time study and under 25 years of age.
  • Child dependant. A dependant child is someone who is unmarried or under 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Is a child aged between 21 and 24 years of age and studying full-time.
  • Child dependant. Children are covered at no extra cost until the end of the year they turn 18., unless they’re married or in a de facto relationship.
  • Student dependant. You can cover your child as a student dependant if they are unmarried, earning under amount specified by HBF, under 25 years of age and studying full-time.
  • Child dependant. Your children are automatically covered under your family cover until the day before they turn 22.
  • Student dependant. If your child is enrolled in full-time study they'll be covered at no extra cost until the day before they turn 25 or cease full time study (whichever comes first).
  • Child dependant. You're children are cover until they reach the age of 23 and remain unmarried.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered as a student dependant if they're financially dependant on the policyholder, aged between 23 and 25 and are enrolled in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. Unmarried (includes those not in a de facto relationship) children between 23 years and 25 years of age can be covered on the Family Dependent Plus policy.
  • Child dependant. Child dependents are covered up until 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered as a student up until 24 years of age if they are engaged in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. A child dependant can be covered until they reach the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. Your children can be covered at no extra cost if they're aged between 21 and 25 years of age and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. Children are covered until they reach 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. A child who is enrolled in full-time study and aged between 21 and 25.
  • Child dependant. A child can stay on a policyholder's membership until they're 18 years of age, as long as they are unmarried.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child who is unmarried, under 25 years of age and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. A child can be covered at no extra cost until they turn 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child who is under 25 years of age, unmarried and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. If your child isn't studying full-time, unmarried and aged between 21 and 24, you are able to cover your children for an additional premium with the families with adult children option.
  • Child dependant. Your single children remain covered until they reach 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Your children remain covered if they are full time students under 25 years of age.
  • Child dependant. Your children will remain covered if they're under 18 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered until 25 years of age if they're enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. A child can be covered if they are unmarried children and under 22 years of age.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered if they are engaged in full-time study, aged between 22 and 25 and unmarried.
  • Child dependant. Your children can be covered until they reach 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. You're children are covered if they are unmarried, enrolled in full-time study and aged between 21 and 25 years of age.
  • Adult dependant. If your child is unmarried, aged between 21 and 25 and not enrolled in full-time study, you can cover them for an additional premium with the Extended Family Policy.
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is someone 21 years of age and unmarried.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone under 25 years of age, unmarried and enrolled in full-time studies.
  • Child dependant. Your children are automatically covered under your family cover until the day before they turn 21.
  • Student dependant. Your child can be covered as a student if they're enrolled in full-time study, under 25 or cease full time study (whichever comes first).
  • Child dependant. A child dependent is someone who is unmarried and under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child that is unmarried, enrolled in full-time study and aged between 21 and 25.
  • Adult dependant. Children can be covered until the age of 25 with the Under Platinum Plus policy.
  • Child dependant. A child can remain covered under your family policy up to age 21 years.
  • Student dependant. A child can be covered as a student dependant if they are under 25 years of age, unmarried and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. Dependants aged between 21 and 25 can be covered with the Family Plus policy if they are unmarried.
  • Child dependant. A child can remain covered under your family policy up to age 21 years.
  • Student dependant. A child can be covered as a student dependant if they are under 25 years of age, unmarried and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Adult dependant. Dependants aged between 21 and 25 can be covered with the Premium Hospital cover.
  • Child dependant. Dependent children can be covered if they are unmarried and under the age of 18.
  • Student dependant. You child can be covered as a student dependant if they're under 25 years of age and enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. Children can remain on their parent’s policy if they're under 23 and not married.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone who is enrolled in full-time study, fully dependant on their parents and under 25 years of age.
  • Child dependant. Children can remain on their parent’s policy if they're under 23 and not married.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone who is enrolled in full-time study, fully dependant on their parents and under 25 years of age.
  • Adult dependant. You are able to get cover for your children aged between 21 and 25 who are not studying full-time with the Extended Family Cover.
  • Child dependant. A child dependant is someone under the age of 21.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is aged between 21 and 24 and us enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. Your children can get covered if they're unmarried and under 21 years of age.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is a child under 25 year of age, unmarried, not in a de facto relationship, and is enrolled in full-time study.
  • Child dependant. Children are covered until they reach 18 years of age.
  • Student dependant. A student dependant is someone enrolled in full-time study and under the age of 25.

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 as your parents, so why would you get the same policy? A 2017 survey conducted by finder.com.au 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.

Actually 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.

What should you be looking for in a policy if you’re young?

If you’re young and healthy with no major medical concerns, you need to choose a policy that provides cover for the services you may need but excludes those that you don’t.

For example, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll need cover for a hip replacement, so you probably won't need a high-level hospital cover. However, you might play sport and go to the physio every couple of weeks, so you might want to look at getting comprehensive extras. It's all about finding value and making sure you're getting what you paid for.

One of the stats people love to bandy about is that young people are more likely to end up in the emergency room than other groups, which is true. This age group consistently represents almost 14% of those heading into the emergency room each year, so making sure you've got ambulance cover may not be a bad idea.

Emergency department presentations those between 25 and 34

Year Men Women % of emergency room admissions
2016-17 479,705 577,429 13.63%
2015-16 473,732 555,879 13.79%
2014–15 467,067 547,107 13.77%
2013–14 461,071 531,927 13.80%
2012-13 437,290 491,790 13.84%
2011–12 429,570 472,144 13.79%

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Emergency department care: Australian hospital statistics

It's also quite common for people at this stage of their lives to think about starting a family. If this sounds like you and you want to have your child in a private hospital, you'll need hospital cover. You'll need to make sure that not only your hospital policy covers pregnancy but that you've held your policy long enough to have served the waiting period – usually 12 months.

According to claims data from HCF, between December 2016 to November 2017, 2,521 people between age 20 and 29 claimed for dental extraction or restoration. This accounted for 25.47% of all dental extractions or restorations performed by HCF that year. If these people hadn't had health insurance, they would have been on the hook for an average cost $1,609. Luckily they did and only had to pay an average out-of-pocket cost of just $258.

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 but, 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.

3 good reasons to consider getting health insurance in your 20s

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.

What is hospital-only cover?

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.

What is extras-only insurance?

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.

What is combined cover?

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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2 Responses

  1. 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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