Why you should switch to a family plan earlier than later
Most singles who enter into a long-term relationship end up bundling up into a combined couples plan. Couples plans do not necessarily offer cheaper premiums than the individual plans but bundling has its benefits.
First, combining helps you manage the limits better. Since you may use certain types of benefits more than your partner and vice versa, you’ll have more flexibility in the covers you choose. It’s also administratively easier to manage. Second, the costs could be more manageable if you and your partner earn different levels of income. If you are earning less, you could still access better policy by combining the plan with your partner. You can file a combined claim for the private health insurance rebate. Lastly, for the purposes of the Private Health Insurance Rebate and the Medical Levy Surcharge, you could be considered as a ‘family’ and thus your combined income will be required to meet the threshold for couples/families.
Some couples plans also include pregnancy and birth and other maternity services if you are considering starting a family. However, if you are thinking of starting a family, you could benefit significantly from bundling up again to a family cover earlier than later.
Family health insurance plans (hospital covers and extras covers) would offer a broader level of coverage for maternity-related needs. If you stay on the couples funds, there may be restrictions on when you can add a dependant to your policy. If you want to have more than one kid, these restrictions and penalties could result in significantly higher premiums. Family plans allow you to add an unlimited number of dependants at no extra cost. Whilst family plans could be more expensive, getting much better benefits for your entire family for higher premiums is more sensible than paying more premiums on the couples plans for no additional benefits.
You’d also want to make sure that your newborn baby has immediate access to all the necessary medical services. Since family plans are tailored for parents with children, it’ll be easier for you to find a plan that suits your new expectations for coverage. Keep in mind that the waiting periods for many of the benefits may still apply. So switching to family plans in advance to ensure your baby will have access to all important treatments and services could be a good idea.