- Coverage for kids is generally included in family health insurance policies and couples policies
- Whole family health cover can include hospital cover, extras only cover, or combined hospital and extras cover
- Bupa, Medibank, HCF, NIB and some smaller health funds have increased the age limit for young adults on family policies to 31
- The national annual premium average for family hospital and extras health insurance is around $4,500
If you’re planning to expand your family, through birth, adoption, a foster child or blending families, you might be considering how this could affect your health insurance premiums.
Family health insurance policies often cover children at no additional cost to you, but the specifics can vary.
In this article, we delve into the cost implications and benefits of including children in your health insurance policy.
Health Insurance for Kids – How Does it Work?
There’s actually no such thing as health insurance just for kids. Instead, your children or dependants are covered by a family private health cover policy. This is generally at no extra cost to you, but it does depend on your chosen health fund.
How to Add Kids to Your Health Insurance
Whether you already have children or are planning to, you can include them in your health insurance by opting for a family or single parent health insurance policy.
It’s vital to remember that if you’re expecting a baby and have obstetrics cover on a single (or couple) policy, your baby’s care in a private hospital won’t be covered.
If you’re considering adding children to your existing health insurance policy, reaching out to your health fund for details is the first step.
How Long Can Children Stay on Family Insurance?
The length of time your kids can stay on your policy (either for free or with a slightly higher premium if they’re working full time) will again depend on your insurance provider, but in most cases they can stay on your policy at the very latest until 31 years of age.
Generally, however, children can remain covered under their family’s health insurance policy until they marry, enter a de facto relationship, or reach a specific age (between 21 to 31, depending on the health fund).
However, not all family health policies provide this extension, and you may need to pay a higher premium to keep your dependents on the policy. Always confirm the terms with your health fund.
How Much Does Kids Insurance Cost?
The cost of adding a child to your health insurance depends on various factors, such as your need to upgrade to a family policy or single-parent policy, and your health fund’s rules.
It will also depend on the level of cover you choose to take out and whether you or your partner have ever held health insurance, as this will determine whether or not you pay Lifetime Health Cover Loading.
You may not face any extra costs if you already have a family policy and are not adding obstetrics cover.
However, needing to upgrade to a family policy, with or without pregnancy cover, will likely increase your premiums.
To give you an idea of what you might pay, here are the average annual premiums for family hospitals and extras policies in different states and territories across Australia.
Benefits of Health Insurance for Children
When it comes to caring for your children, their health and wellbeing are paramount. This is where health insurance comes into play. Private health insurance for children provides a range of benefits that can ease the strain on your wallet and provide the level of care your little ones deserve. Here are some of the key benefits you should consider.
Easing the Financial Strain
Medical expenses can quickly add up, especially with the unpredictable nature of children’s health. With private health insurance, these out-of-pocket costs can be significantly reduced. This means fewer co-payments for consultations, check-ups, and inpatient treatments, ensuring that you can focus more on your child’s recovery than the impending medical bills.
Access to a Private Room
Hospital visits can be daunting for children. Having access to a private room during hospital stays can make the experience more comfortable. With private health insurance, this often complex and expensive feature is generally included, providing a more relaxed environment for both the child and visiting family members.
Choice of Doctors
One significant benefit of private health insurance is the ability to choose your child’s doctor. This can provide a sense of comfort and continuity of care, especially in situations where regular consultations or treatments are required.
Avoiding Public Waiting Lists
Elective surgeries often come with long waiting periods under the public health care system, which can be stressful and inconvenient. With private health insurance, you can bypass these waiting lists, ensuring your child receives the necessary treatment in a timely manner.
Comprehensive Dental Coverage
Maintaining children’s dental health is vital, but can be expensive. Most health insurance policies include coverage for regular dental check-ups and procedures. For more complex dental needs such as orthodontics, you may need to consider a higher level of cover.
Sports Injuries and Physiotherapy
Children are active, and unfortunately, sports injuries are common. Health insurance can help cover the cost of treatments such as physiotherapy, helping your child get back on their feet faster.
Mental Health Support
As our understanding of mental health grows, so does the need for accessible support. Health insurance can cover some costs associated with mental health support for growing children. However, coverage can vary significantly between providers, so it’s crucial to review the policy’s product disclosure statement carefully.
While private health insurance comes with a wealth of benefits, it’s essential to remember that all policies have waiting periods. This means you’ll need to hold the policy for a certain length of time before you can claim benefits.
Moreover, health insurance policies can vary depending on whether your child is a full-time student dependant or an adult dependant child. Typically, students and dependants can be covered under a family policy until a certain age limit, but conditions can differ across providers.
Also, keep in mind the Australian government’s Medicare system provides a safety net for many basic health services. While this can complement your private health insurance, it doesn’t eliminate the need for a comprehensive policy.
How long can children stay on their family’s health insurance policy?
Children can stay on their family’s health insurance policy until they marry, enter a de facto relationship, or reach a certain age (between 21 to 32), depending on the health fund.
Will it cost me anything to add a child to my health insurance policy?
Costs may arise if you need to upgrade to a family or single-parent policy, depending on your health fund’s rules. However, if you’re already on a family policy, it’s unlikely to cost more to add a child.
What are the benefits of health insurance for kids?
Private health insurance for children offers benefits like choosing a doctor, avoiding public wait lists, dental coverage, sports injury cover, and mental health support.
Searching for Health Insurance for Kids? We Can Help!
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