Explore Health Insurance

Looking after your family’s health pays dividends to your future. Families take care of each other, share their lives together, and are the #1 source for birthday pressies each year!

There’s no way to predict when you or your kids might become sick or suffer an injury, but you can take some steps to prepare for such circumstances. This is where private health insurance comes in.

What to look for in family health insurance

Each family is unique and health needs will differ, so it’s important to consider the life-stage you and your family are at when it comes to health insurance and the medical treatments you might need.

You’re starting your family

Having your first child is something special, but it also means it’s time to start preparing. Our best advice to anyone hoping to start a family is to take out cover early on. That way, you won’t miss out on (private) obstetrics cover or assisted reproductive treatment (should you need it)  – both of which have a 12 month waiting period.

We outline the particulars for couples starting a family. Don’t worry if you’re a single parent, as the advice applies to everyone!

You have a couple of young ones

Maybe now that you’ve had one or two children and they’re out of diapers, you aren’t thinking about having any more at the moment. Even if this is the case, you’ve still got to look out for the health of the kids you already have!

Family cover ensures you have access to benefits like:

  • treatment as a private patient;
  • subsidised medications;
  • dentist check-ups;
  • and more!

While the above features are all subject to what’s available with your particular insurer, there are plenty of products out there that offer these at a reasonable price.

Your kids are in school

When the kids hit school, prepare for some new and unexpected expenses! Maybe they turn out to have flat feet and require orthotics from a podiatrist, or perhaps their eyesight isn’t perfect and they require glasses.

Extras cover in particular becomes quite important at this age as all these extra expenses begin to pile up, so make sure you review your cover every year to be certain you’re getting the best value possible.

Maybe your child is involved in sports? If that’s the case, extras with physiotherapy might come in handy if they’re injured. Other extras policies might include cover for counselling and psychology to help look after their mental health.

Your teenagers are growing up

Your kids can stay on your family health insurance policy until their 20’s (depending on which health fund you’re insured by), potentially at additional cost to your policy. After that, they’re on their own!

Until then, you can set them up for life with the perfect smile – maybe now’s the time to get orthodontic work done and fit some braces to their teeth? Or maybe they’re planning a big trip overseas for schoolies? Their travel vaccinations may be covered (in part) by your policy too, depending on coverage.

Just because the kids grow up doesn’t mean they don’t need looking after. Once they’re old enough though, point them towards paying for their own policy.

Why take out health insurance for your family?

a mother and daughter baking in the kitchen

It makes sense to have all the health needs and priorities under one roof neatly and collectively accounted for. A family health insurance policy with extras and private hospital cover insures you, your partner and your children.

There are many reasons to consider taking out family health insurance:

  • It’s a financial safety net for serious and minor health issues.This is something many Australians eagerly seek out and provides peace of mind.
  • Want to choose your doctor? With a private hospital policy, you can do that!
  • Trying to save money for your children’s future, your retirement, or both?The possibility of having to fork out cash for expensive healthcare is not ideal.
  • Recover in your own private room in the hospital (should one be available).
  • Treatment when you need it. One thing kids don’t tend to do well is wait. If you can avoid public hospital waiting lists, you’ll be a happier parent.
  • Need help paying for out-of-hospital services? Whether it’s dental check-ups or trips to the physiotherapist, parents can appreciate the value of general treatment cover with an extras policy.

One of the great things about a family private health insurance policy is that your children and dependents are generally covered under your couples policy at no extra cost! This is true regardless of whether you’re a family of three, a family of four, or if you have even more children up to the age of 18 – 25 depending on your insurer. All you need to do is provide some details about your child to add them to your policy.

When it comes to finding cover to suit your family’s priorities, it’s simple enough to find cover that fits the bill.

Tax benefits for families with private health insurance

If the price of premiums is making you a tad hesitant to invest in private health insurance, you’ll be happy to hear that the government can give you a helping hand.

The private health insurance rebate is based on income and applies to hospital, extras, and standalone ambulance policies. You can claim your rebate at tax time on your tax return, or as a discount on your health insurance premium.

Having a family private hospital insurance policy can also save you paying a surcharge on the Medicare Levy. Depending on you and your partner’s combined income, you might face a Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) of between one to 1.5% extra on your Medicare Levy at tax time.

Frequently asked questions

How does family health insurance work?

Typically, insuring your children under family health cover means they’re covered for the same treatments and services you are. If you’re pregnant, you’ll need to contact your insurer a few months before your new arrival’s due date to see which waiting periods apply to your child (if any).

Health insurance policies, which can cover families, couples or single adults, fall into one of three categories:

  • Hospital cover: hospital cover helps lower the cost of surgeries and treatment in hospital for you and your family. There are four levels of hospital cover; basic, bronze, silver and gold, with each one providing greater coverage for a wider array of treatments.
  • Extras cover: with an extras cover policy, you’ll be covered for various medical expenses outside of the hospital that Medicare won’t cover. This includes dental, physio, some prescription medications, optometry and more.
  • Combined cover: if you want family health insurance that covers treatment both inside and outside of hospital, you can take out hospital and extras cover as combined health insurance.
  • Emergency transportation: You can buy ambulance cover as a standalone policy, or it can fall under hospital cover, extras cover or combined health insurance; however, this varies between policies and health funds. Discover why you might need ambulance cover.

When considering treatment, it’s important to ask your insurer how you can use your policy to cover the bill. You might need to fill out a claims form and submit it to your health insurer either online or by post. However, you may be able to use a Health Industry Claims & Payment Service, or HICAPS, and simply swipe your health fund card through the machine.

What’s the best health insurance for families?

There is no particular health insurance policy that’s best for all families, as everyone’s needs are different. Comparing policies based on their coverage and price against the medical needs you think your family will face can help you find an outstanding value policy.

One extra thing to look for is whether a particular health fund has a no-gap or known gap agreement with a hospital or doctor. Going to that doctor or hospital for treatment can help you avoid out of pocket costs, or at least know what they’ll be beforehand.

What do I do with my health insurance when my children leave home?

When it comes to dependants, age limits on family health insurance policies can range from 18 to 25 years old. Depending on whether they’re studying, in a de-facto relationship, married or employed full time, you might have to pay a little extra to cover them on your policy.

Once they leave the nest and are no longer covered by your private health insurance, it’s time to contact your insurer to discuss moving to a singles or couples policy, depending on your situation.

Discover more about insuring dependents with a family health policy.

What if my child is injured at school?

If your child is injured at school, it’s important to note that the school should have liability insurance, but might not have accident insurance to cover the cost of healthcare. Schools have a duty of care and will provide first aid, call an ambulance if needed, and notify parents.

Any expenses relating to care, including ambulance trips (except if you’re a QLD or TAS resident), are borne by you. In situations like these, ambulance cover (depending on which state or territory you reside in) and private health insurance which covers the necessary treatment can help cover expenses and provide peace of mind.

Can I add my parents to my family’s health insurance policy?

No, you cannot add your parents to your family health insurance policy; only your spouse or de facto partner and dependent children.

Can I get cover just for my child but not for myself?

Some health insurers do provide cover for children only, though these policies are rare. Most family health insurance covers everyone, including parents, birth children, step-children, adopted children and foster children. In some of these instances, you might need to provide additional info about when your dependents entered your care.

Comparing family health insurance policies

Whether you haven’t held a family policy before, or you’re looking to review your current cover, you can compare a number of insurance policies from our partners through our free comparison service. It’ll help compare prices and coverage from any available policies side-by-side; all in the one place. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to get started!

So, what are you waiting for?

Compare health insurance
Or call us on 1800 304 709