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Caring for your kids is important, and taking out a health insurance policy can mean you don’t need to worry about private hospital waiting lists, dental check up bills, and more. It’s also a golden ticket to looking after your health, because those kids need someone to look after them in the long run!

And yet, single parent families are the least likely Aussie demographic to have private health insurance, according to an IPSOS survey of thousands of people from 2015. The difference between this demographic and the national average is enormous: 39% of single parent families have health cover, and the national average is 61%!

Take this as an opportunity to stay on top of yours and your kids’ health – and maybe even save some money. 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.

Looking after your family with hospital cover

From bumps and tumbles to the chronic or less predictable, most of us have a memory of winding up in hospital for some reason. Having hospital cover can help you pay the costs of your stay at a private hospital, as well as any associated procedures undertaken while you’re admitted, depending on the product. You also avoid public hospital waiting lists with this type of cover. If your kids rely on you for care, this means you won’t be out of commission for any substantial period of time.

And as your kids grow, so will their propensity to start mischief at home – it’s best to have them covered for private care in case they get themselves injured. That way, they’ll be seen to in a timely manner at a selection of great Australian private hospitals.

Single parent cover typically comes at a similar price to family cover. With that in mind, focus on taking out cover with features you care about, for a reasonable price.

There are also rebates to consider. By taking out private hospital cover (or extras), you’ll get to enjoy the Private Health Insurance Rebate, in which you’ll receive a percentage of your premiums back at the end of financial year – depending on your age and income. Only one parent can claim this particular rebate, so that will now be all your to enjoy.

Extras for single parents

As a single parent, you need to be ready for anything your kids throw at you…sometimes literally! As they grow, you may need to pay for glasses, physiotherapy, or even orthodontic work. At least basic dental costs are partially covered by Medicare until they turn 17.

The upfront costs of these things can be substantial, but extra cover (sometimes called general treatment) will help you shoulder these costs. That means more money for you and your kids throughout the year!

When taking out extras cover as a single parent, the maximum amount you can claim in one year (for each feature/benefit) are typically the same for singles, couples, and families – with health funds setting limits per each person insured on the policy. Keep an eye on these limits throughout the year, as you want to maximise your investment by claiming as much as possible.

If you’re in the process of separating from your partner…

Here are a few 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. Keep this in mind if switching from family to single parent cover.
  • Switching from a family to a single parent policy can typically be done with a phone call, and shouldn’t incur any fees. However if you paid for your premium in an annual lump sum, you may not receive this money back.

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

Make sure you’ve got your family covered for life’s unforeseeable hurdles at comparethemarket.com.au today. Call us on 13 32 32.

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