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Last Updated on 10 December 2019

Can My Adult Kids Still Be Covered By My Private Health Insurance?


The time when your kids leave home can often bring about feelings of both excitement and anxiety. You may be excited for them, and at the same time looking forward to the next stage in your life, but many parents may also be concerned about how their children will manage their finances and their health.

Money can be a concern for many young adults, and if your kids are at university and living on a student budget, paying out-of-pocket healthcare costs may not be their top priority. And most kids won’t want to take out separate health insurance. Fortunately, if your kids are under 25 and studying full time they may still be covered on your family health insurance, even if they are not living at home any more.

If that’s the case, you won’t have to spend time worrying about whether they can afford dental check-ups, and they won’t have to further stretch an already tight budget to get the healthcare services they need to stay healthy. This can all be covered by an appropriate family policy.

Are my kids covered?

Cover for adult children under your family policy will largely depend on your health fund. Most insurers will cover children and other dependants up to the age of 21 on the family policy.

This is generally extended to 25 years for full-time students as they are still considered dependents of their parents. Usually, the only time that this may not apply is if your child gets married or is in a de-facto relationship. In this case, they probably won’t be covered under your family policy and will need to take out a couples or single health insurance policy of their own.

If you’re considering purchasing health insurance for kids, there are a few things you should look for in a policy. Not all policies are created equal, and some will offer more cover for your dependants than others do.

First, since we’re on the topic of adult children, you’re going to want to find a policy that covers your kids until they turn 25. Some policies may require adult children pay additional loading fees for staying under their parents’ health insurance, and you should avoid these if you can.

Next, you’re going to want an extras policy that includes no-gap extras for your kids. A partial-gap policy may have you paying out-of-pocket for things like dentist visits. Some of the more comprehensive extras policies will include a no-gap agreement for kids.

Lastly, consider what specific health services your family may need. Are you exploring the idea of having more children? If so, you’ll want a policy that includes pregnancy and birth-related services. If not, you may want to downgrade your cover to save money.

Do your children need braces or glasses? If they do, you may want to look into purchasing an extras policy that includes major dental and optical.

Our free comparison service can help you find quotes on family policies aligned with your needs and budget. All you have to do is enter a few basic details to help us get to know you and what you’re looking for. Then we’ll find you quotes in a matter of minutes from our panel of trusted health funds. Take a look at the table above for an example of some common health insurance policies that might interest you and your family.

Can I just get health insurance for my child?

Health insurance for individuals and families will extend to dependent children until they turn 21 – 25 if the child is a full time student. You can purchase child-only health insurance in rare cases, but these policies aren’t often worth the added cost when you consider the price of family or single-parent policies.

If your child is above 25, however, they will likely have to buy their own health insurance policy in their name. The only option you have in these cases is to pay for your child’s health insurance policy for them. There’s nothing wrong with this option if you can afford it.

Here are some basic policies that are popular with healthy young adults who are looking for their first private health insurance option.

Can I get health insurance for my child only in Australia?

Child-only health insurance policies are rare, but they do exist. You’ll have to search through a variety of health funds to find them, and they may end up costing the same as a policy for you and the rest of your family.

Health insurance policies for adults will cover your kids up until they turn 21. If they’re a student, these policies will extend until they turn 25. After that, they will likely need to buy a policy of their own.

It may end up being more cost-effective to purchase a policy for both yourself and your child, rather than a child-only policy. If you’d like to compare health insurance to figure out what option may suit you and your child best, you can speak to a qualified health insurance adviser free of charge.

What if my kids aren’t studying full time?

As long as your kids are under 25 years of age, you may be able to get coverage for them on your family policy, even if they aren’t studying. Some health funds offer specific policies for families with adult children or offer you the option of extended family cover so that you can be sure your older children’s health insurance needs are being met. These policies usually come with an increased cost but many parents appreciate the peace of mind of knowing that their child will still be able to receive the same benefits while they are finding their feet as young adults.

If you’re looking for the best private health insurance policy to suit your family, it’s important to compare the different options. Just like every family is unique, each health fund comes with different rules and levels of cover. Comparing all your options makes it easier to find the one that is going to best suit your family.

To compare family health insurance and learn more about comparing options for adult children, feel free to give Health Insurance Comparison a call, or enter your details below, and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance

There are three types of health insurance in Australia. They are:

  • Hospital Cover
  • Extras Cover (also known as general or ancillary cover)
  • Ambulance Cover

Hospital cover can ensure any unexpected surgeries, treatments or hospital stays you may require will be covered. With appropriate cover you will have the flexibility to choose your own doctor and the option of receiving treatment in a private hospital.  Most hospital covers allow you to stay in a private room. One other perk is skipping the public hospital systems’ waiting list, which can be lengthy for non emergency treatment.

Extras cover pays benefits for a a range of services, often including treatments and procedures related to the fullowing:

  • Dental/oral health
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychulogy
  • Acupuncture
  • Remedial massage
  • Chiropractic
  • Hearing aids
  • Travel vaccinations

Ambulance cover, as the name suggests, will cover you should you require emergency ambulance transport. In an emergency, there is enough to worry about. Having the expenses covered for provides security and peace of mind. Many hospital covers include emergency ambulance transport If yours doesn’t, you will need to shop for this separately.

Life is unpredictable. You never know when you might need cover. No matter what life stage you’re in, there’s a policy out there for everyone. You can select as much or as little cover as you want, depending on your health needs and requirements. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind health cover provides.

There is no one answer here. Costs vary across providers and policy types. Just because a policy is cheap, that does not mean it is ‘value for money’ and vise versa. Make sure you check what’s included and excluded in a policy before signing up, as you want to purchase a policy that best fits your specific needs.

Premium: A premium is the price you pay for your insurance policy (it may be paid annually or on an ongoing basis).

Policy: An insurance plan. In other words, it is the type of insurance you choose to select.

Policy Holder: The owner, or ‘holder’ of a policy.

Claim: In the event that you require treatment for a service covered by your policy, you can lodge a claim for reimbursement of all or part of the cost of that treatment.. These days, most claims are submitted electronically by the health care provider (dentist, physio etc)

Lifetime Health Cover: Lifetime Health Cover was put in place to encourage young Australians to seek out and maintain ownership of private health insurance early in their lives. If you do not take out a policy before you turn 31, extra charges will be applied should you take out a policy at a later time.

This means you will pay a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year that passes after you turn 30. For example, if you take out a policy for the first time at age 32, you will be charged 4% of your premium as an extra, then at age 40, 20% and so on, up to a maximum loading of 70%.

The loading is payable for 10 consecutive years of cover - after which it is removed and you premiums will be reduced.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS): Medicare offers assistance for Australians with many of their their prescribed medication costs through the PBS. This assistance is in the form of subsidies towards the cost of many medications. You can check if your prescribed medication is on the list of subsidised items here.

Medicare Levy Surcharge: The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional charge (tax) applied to single Australian taxpayers who earn over the income threshold of $90,000 per year, or families/couples who earn over $180,000 per year. This surcharge is only applied to those who choose not to have a private health insurance policy.

The surcharge is designed to reduce pressure on the public health system by encouraging those with higher incomes to invest in private health cover.

Private Health Insurance Rebate: The government’s Private Health Insurance rebate lowers premiums for most Australians with private health insurance Older Australians may enjoy an even higher rebate. Our calculator can help you estimate the Government health insurance rebate you may receive.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication


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