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Taking care of your children’s health is one of your most important jobs as a parent. This is especially true for single parents, where the full responsibility falls on you. A single parent health insurance policy makes it easier to stay on top of your kid’s healthcare needs by giving you the option to avoid public hospital waiting lists, save on dental check-ups and more.

We’ll take you through both hospital and extras cover for single parents, so you have all the information you need to take care of your family.

Do I need single parent health insurance?

Health insurance for single parents can ensure that both you and your children have access to private hospital services. You can also avoid public hospital waiting lists for elective surgeries, along with other great benefits such as:

  • Cheaper private hospital visits
  • A choice of treating doctor (subject to availability)
  • Your own room at a private hospital (subject to availability).

From bumps and tumbles to chronic or unexpected illnesses, there’s always a chance that your child may end up in hospital, no matter how careful you are. Having hospital cover gives you peace of mind knowing that if something happens, your child will be covered for treatment in a private hospital.

The hospital services you’ll be insured for will depend on your level of cover. Hospital cover is divided into four tiers: Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold, each covering a broader range of clinical categories (e.g. a standard Bronze hospital policy covers 21 clinical categories, while a Gold hospital policy covers all 38). Certain policies may also include a few select categories from the tier above, and these are known as ‘Plus’ or ‘+’ policies (e.g. a Silver Plus policy could cover joint replacement, but not weight loss surgery).

Keep in mind that your health insurance will not cover private emergency room fees since you’re not technically admitted to hospital. Your single parent health insurance will come into effect once you’re admitted to the hospital or need further surgery following your emergency room visit.

Dad compares health insurance for single parents with baby

Extras insurance for single parents

As a single parent, it can be hard to predict your child’s needs as they grow. You might need to pay for glasses, speech therapy, physiotherapy or even orthodontic work. The upfront costs of these things can be substantial, and since they don’t require hospital treatment, they aren’t typically covered by hospital insurance. However, extras cover (sometimes called general treatment) can help shoulder these costs.

Thankfully, some basic dental costs for children are partially covered by Medicare until they turn 17.1 However, you might still want to consider extras cover for preventative or major dental, which could save you money in the long run.

Extras family cover is subject to per person and annual limits, so make sure you know exactly what you’re covered for before claiming for extras services, as there is a good chance you will still have some out-of-pocket costs.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I’m separating from my partner?

If you’re in the process of separating from your partner, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind regarding health insurance:

  • Waiting periods. You won’t need to re-serve your waiting periods when you switch to an equal (or lower) level of hospital insurance cover, provided you’ve already completed those waiting periods previously and you switch to your new policy within a set number of days as nominated by the Fund.
  • Switching could save you money. Moving from a family health insurance policy to a single parent policy can typically be done through a simple phone call and won’t incur any additional fees. In fact, this change could lead to savings on your premium. Switching to single parent cover could also affect your eligibility for the Australian Government Rebate, as you’ll still fall under the family income threshold but your partner’s income will no longer be combined.

Luckily, you can compare a range of cover options in one convenient place. We present the options, and you can decide what matters most to you and your family. Whether it’s extras, hospital or combined cover, we can help you compare in just minutes.

Are my children covered under my singles health insurance?

Your health insurance can cover your children, but you’ll have to change to a single parent policy if you currently have singles health cover. If you’re looking to switch over, an easy way is by using our free health insurance comparison service.

Can I get health insurance just for my children?

Some health funds might offer policies just for your children. However, you should consider including yourself in any policy you purchase since your health is also important to your family. What’s more, most health insurance providers offer policies for single-income families, so it would probably be a simpler option than children-only cover.

Do single parents pay extra for health insurance?

Yes, private health insurance policies for single parents cost more than single adult policies. This is where single parent health insurance differs from a family policy, since couples can often add dependents at no additional cost. However, health insurance for single parents still typically costs less than a two-parent family policy.

How long does my single parent health insurance cover my children?

This will depend on your policy, but your children can often stay on your single parent health insurance cover until they turn 21. However, some health funds allow dependants to stay on their parent’s policy for free until they’re 25+.

In some cases, your dependant child has to be studying full-time to be covered for the maximum age limit, so it’s a good idea to check with your health fund for the terms and conditions that apply to you.

Can I get rebates for my single parent health insurance?

By taking out private hospital or extras cover), you may be eligible to claim the Private Health Insurance Rebate, depending on your income. This rebate allows you to either receive a lower premium for your health insurance or claim a percentage of your premiums back at tax time.

To be eligible for the full rebate, you’ll have to earn less than $93,000 per year as a single (From 1 July 2023).

Top tips from on health insurance for single parents from our health insurance expert, Lana Hambilton

  1. Shop around and do your research. Prices vary from fund to fund and there are plenty of options to choose from. If you need assistance, speak to one of our experts, they are here to help!
  2. An excess is an amount that you agree to pay towards the cost of hospital treatment in exchange for lower premiums. The great news is, there are some products available that do not charge an excess for dependants. This means that you will not be required to pay an excess if your dependant is admitted to hospital. This is not available on all policies, so it’s best to speak to an expert or your health fund for more information.
  3. Some health funds will allow your dependants to stay on your policy longer than others. There are a couple funds that could cover your dependants until 25, even if they’re not studying full time.

Need to switch over to a single parent health insurance policy? We can help!

Our free comparison service makes finding health insurance for single parents and children simple. In just minutes, you can compare a range of great-value cover options from the health funds on our panel. We don’t mark up prices, so the quotes on our page will be the same price as you’d get from going directly to the health fund.


1 Australian Government Department of Human Services. Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

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