Understanding Private Health Insurance
If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you may be thinking about upgrading your private health insurance to a couples health insurance policy.
There are plenty of reasons Australian couples may take out a combined health insurance policy, including thinking they’ll get a cheaper deal.
The truth, however, is taking out private health as a couple generally is no cheaper than two single policies – your health insurance premiums will roughly be the same.
In fact, in most cases, it actually makes more sense to have separate policies, especially if you have different health needs.
In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the different health funds and health policies available in Australia and help you decide whether to take out couples insurance or keep your own single plans.
What is Private Health Insurance for Couples?
It’s pretty straightforward. It’s when two adults get covered under a single health insurance policy. There are two main types of couples health insurance:
A hospital policy lets you and your partner be treated as private patients in a private or public hospital. This means you can dodge public waiting lists, choose your own doctor (if available), and even score a private room (if available).
An extras policy, on the other hand, helps you out with expenses for services outside the hospital. Think dental, optical, physiotherapy, and chiropractic treatments—stuff that Medicare doesn’t cover.
How Does Couples Health Insurance Work?
If you’re legally married or in a de facto relationship, you’ve got a couple of options:
- Option one: Get separate health cover for yourself and your spouse. That means two individual policies.
- Option two: Go for a couples policy that covers both of you under the same level of protection. You can choose between hospital cover, extras-only, or go for a combined policy that gives you the best of both worlds.
Benefits of a Couples Health Insurance Policy
While it’s not typically cheaper to take out couples’ health insurance, there are some benefits of joining a private health fund under one policy:
- Simplified Management: With a couples health insurance policy, things become easier to handle. You only have to deal with one provider, one level of coverage, and one set of waiting periods. This simplicity saves you time and gives you peace of mind.
- Coordinated Coverage: Both partners get the same level of coverage under a joint policy. This means you can visit the same doctors and hospitals without any confusion. It’s great for couples who prefer consistent care and want to be on the same page.
- Special Benefits for Couples: Couples’ health insurance policies may include special benefits tailored for couples. Think maternity coverage, fertility treatments, newborn care, and family planning services. These added perks can be a big help when you’re starting a family or have specific healthcare needs as a couple.
- Financial Protection: A couple’s health insurance policy provides extra financial protection. If one of you faces a major health issue or requires expensive treatments, the joint policy can help ease the financial burden. It’s a comforting safety net during challenging times.
Remember, the specific benefits can vary depending on your insurance provider and location. Take the time to research and compare different options to find the best policy that suits your needs as a couple.
Comparing Couples and Singles Policies
When it comes to comparing couples and singles policies, it’s important to note that a couple’s policy isn’t automatically cheaper. It really depends on your specific circumstances and the health insurance providers you’re considering.
In some cases, two single policies might actually be more cost-effective. This is particularly true if one partner has different health needs or requires a higher level of cover compared to the other. For example, let’s say one partner needs comprehensive private hospital cover with extras like obstetrics for family planning, while the other partner only requires a basic level of coverage. In such a scenario, individual policies tailored to each person’s specific needs could potentially work out to be more affordable.
The cost-effectiveness of couples versus singles policies also depends on factors such as the pricing structure of the insurance provider, any discounts or incentives they offer for couples, and the specific coverage options you choose.
It’s a good idea to carefully assess the coverage requirements of both partners and compare the costs and benefits of both options. By obtaining quotes and exploring different insurance providers, you can make an informed decision on whether a joint policy or two separate single policies would be more financially advantageous for your unique situation.
Is a family policy cheaper than a couples health insurance policy?
The cost of a family policy compared to a couples health insurance policy depends on the number of children you have, their ages, and the specific cover required.
Does a couples policy mean we have to have the same level of cover?
Typically, yes. With a joint policy, both parties usually have the same level of cover. However, some insurers may allow different levels of cover within the same policy.
What is the benefit of having private hospital cover in Australia?
Having private hospital cover can help to reduce potential out-of-pocket hospital treatment costs, provide access to private hospital rooms, and may help you avoid the MLS and the Lifetime Health Cover Loading (LHC Loading).
What is the Medicare Levy Surcharge?
The MLS is a government initiative to encourage higher-income earners in Australia to take up private hospital cover and reduce the burden on the public Medicare system.
What are the different levels of hospital cover?
Each health fund will call their level of hospital cover something different, from bronze plus to silver plus. The reality is, there are only four levels of hospital cover: basic, bronze, silver and gold. The higher up your tier, the more you’ll be covered for.
Let the CHI Insurance Experts Help You Find the Right Health Insurance Cover
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Whether you’re searching for cover as a single parent, young couple, single or family, we can help you find the right cover.
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