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Caring for your kids is important and taking out a single parent health insurance policy means you have the option of avoiding public hospital waiting lists, reducing dental check-up bills and more.

Our kids need someone to look after them in the long run, and health insurance is a golden ticket to looking after your family’s health. Yet only 14% of single parents have policies that cover their entire family, according to a 2017 IPSOS survey.

Let’s look at 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 assure that you and your children can receive private hospital care. You can also avoid public hospital waiting lists for elective surgeries and have other great benefits such as:

  • cheaper private hospital visits
  • the choice of which doctor treats you (subject to availability)
  • your own room at a private hospital (subject to availability).

From bumps and tumbles to the chronic or less predictable illnesses and injuries, most of us have a memory of winding up in the hospital for some reason. Having hospital cover can assist in the costs of your stay at a private hospital, as well as any associated procedures undertaken while you’re admitted, depending on the product.

As your kids grow, so will their propensity to start mischief at home – so it’s best to have them covered for private in-patient hospital care in case they get themselves injured. That way, they can be seen to promptly at a selection of great Australian private hospitals.

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

Single mother calculating bills.

Extras for single parents

As a single parent, you need to be ready for anything your kids throw at you. As they grow, you may need to pay for glasses, physiotherapy or even orthodontic work. Thankfully, some basic dental costs are partially covered by Medicare until they turn 17.1

The upfront costs of these things can be substantial, and since they don’t require hospital treatment, aren’t typically covered by hospital insurance. However, extras cover (sometimes called general treatment) can help shoulder these 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:

  • waiting periods are waived when you’re switching to comparable (or lower) hospital insurance cover – provided you’ve already completed those waiting periods previously, and you switch across to your new policy within a set period of days. Keep this in mind if switching from family to single parent cover; and
  • switching from a family to a single parent policy can typically be done with a phone call and won’t incur any additional fees. In fact, this change could lead to savings on your premium.

Luckily, you can compare a range of health fund 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 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 to do so 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 providers offer health insurance 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 generally add dependents for free. However, health insurance for single parents will typically cost 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 dependents to stay on their parent’s policy for free until they’re 25, provided they’re studying full-time.

Can I get rebates for my single parent health insurance?

By taking out private hospital cover (or extras), 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 the end of the financial year.

To be eligible for the full rebate, you’ll have to earn less than $90,000 per year.

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

Through our free comparison service, finding health insurance for single parents and children is simple. In just minutes, you can compare a range of great-value policies 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.

So, what are you waiting for?

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