We all want to feel that peace of mind knowing that our children’s medical needs will be taken care of whenever necessary. The good news is that you can ensure your dependents, whether you’re a family or a single parent, are covered by health insurance for both hospital treatment and additional medical expenses.

If you have single-parent health insurance or family health cover, you can typically add your child dependant to your policy at no extra cost.

But what if you just want private health cover for your children and not for yourself? Is it cheaper? Do health funds even offer child-only health insurance plans?

Can You Just Get Cover for Your Child/Children?

The short answer is no.

It’s uncommon for health insurers to offer private health insurance specifically for children without coverage for parents or other family members.

However, most family policies allow you to include your dependents without any extra charges.

With that said, let’s explore the benefits of family health plans/single parent health plans and how taking out health insurance for yourself can benefit your children (at no extra cost to you!)

The Different Types of Health Insurance

Whether you take out a singles policy, family policy or couples policy, there are 3 main options to choose from:

Within these three tiers are different levels of cover. For example, basic hospital cover, bronze hospital cover, silver hospital cover and gold hospital cover.

With extras cover, there are also different levels/different services you can get cover for, from physio to major dental, chiro to podiatry, optical and more.

Whatever type of health insurance policy you take out as a single parent or family, your child will be covered for the same things.

The Benefits of Health Insurance for Kids

Health insurance offers numerous benefits for children and dependents.

Family private hospital cover provides:

  • Benefits towards treatment in private hospitals.
  • Options to avoid public waiting lists for elective surgery.
  • Availability of private rooms and choice of treating doctor or specialist.

Additional comforts include:

  • Potential for a second bed for a parent during a child’s stay.
  • Option to choose a familiar doctor for comfort.

Extras policy for children provides:

  • Benefits for treatments not covered by Medicare.
  • Significantly reduces out-of-pocket costs associated with non-hospital treatments.
  • Coverage for dental check-ups, orthodontics, physiotherapy, mental health and more.

Always remember that annual limits, waiting periods and exclusions may apply, so it’s best to compare different insurance providers to make sure you know what you’re covered for.

How to Cover Your Child With Health Insurance

In Australia, your health insurance policy can include coverage for your dependent children, given that you choose the appropriate family status and include their information in your application. Depending on your chosen policy, your children and dependents might be classified into one of the following three categories:

  • Child Dependents: These are children aged under 21 years, although some insurance providers extend this up to 25 years, regardless of whether they’re studying or not.
  • Full-Time Student Dependents: These are single individuals engaged in full-time studies, generally aged between 18 and 31 years. Depending on the insurance provider, this category may encompass recognized apprenticeships or traineeships.
  • Adult Dependents: This category includes single adults, who are not in full-time study, aged between 18 and 31 years.

The family status on your policy can be marked as either a two-parent or single-parent household. The duration for which a dependent child can remain on their parent’s policy is subject to variation across different insurance funds. Therefore, to ensure your child’s coverage, it’s essential to have a discussion with your health insurance fund.

Upgrading to a Family Policy

If you currently hold a singles or couples insurance policy, an upgrade to a family health insurance policy will be necessary to ensure your children are covered. Depending on your specific health fund, this upgrade may need to occur up to 12 months prior to your child’s birth for coverage to be effective from the date of birth.

This is crucial to consider, as there may be instances where your newborn requires admission to a special care nursery or intensive care unit, leading to significant out-of-pocket expenses if coverage is not in place.

Please note, if the upgrade to a family policy introduces a higher level of cover, waiting periods may apply before you can use the new benefits. However, in many cases, it is possible to transition to a family policy that maintains a similar level of coverage, although this varies between health funds.

It’s also worth mentioning that any waiting periods you’ve already completed under your singles or couples policy will carry over to your new family policy, as long as the coverage level is identical. For example, if your previous policy covered heart surgery and the new policy maintains this coverage, the benefit will be available immediately upon policy transition.

Does Adding Dependents Affect Your Premiums?

When it comes to adding dependent children and students to your family health insurance, you might be happy to know that it usually doesn’t increase the cost. They’re often covered at no additional charge, which is great!

However, things can be a bit different when it comes to young adult dependents. Adding them to your health insurance plan may lead to higher premiums. They might also need to meet certain conditions to be covered, like being unmarried and not in a de facto relationship. Some health funds might even consider their income or employment status.

Here’s another thing to note: if you have dependent children who need to be admitted to the hospital under an eligible private hospital policy, some health funds won’t charge a hospital excess. Unfortunately, this might not apply to dependent students and adults.

It’s worth mentioning that the specific conditions and requirements can vary between health funds, so it’s always a good idea to check with your own provider to get all the details about age limits and criteria for your dependents.


Does the Australian government provide any benefits for child health insurance?

Yes, the Australian Government provides a rebate on private health insurance, which also applies to policies that cover children. The exact amount varies based on your income and family composition.

Are specialist consultations for children covered under health insurance in Australia?

Many health insurance policies do cover specialist consultations for children, but it varies by provider and policy. Always check the policy details before committing.

What is the Australian Government’s rebate for children’s health insurance?

The Australian Government provides a rebate to help cover the cost of premiums for private health insurance. The amount of the rebate varies depending on the family’s income and the ages of the children.

How do major health funds like AHM, BUPA, HCF
, and Medibank cover children’s healthcare?

Major health funds like AHM, BUPA, HCF, and Medibank offer various family and children’s health insurance policies. These often include coverage for general and major dental, orthodontics, physiotherapy, and more. Each fund has unique offerings and packages, so it’s worth comparing them to see which best suits your family’s needs.

What is Lifetime Health Cover Loading and does it apply to children’s health insurance?

Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading is a government initiative designed to encourage people to take out private hospital insurance earlier in life and maintain their cover. It doesn’t apply to children – it’s calculated based on the age of the oldest person on the policy.

Are children covered for treatment in public hospitals in Australia?

Yes, all Australian residents, including children, have access to public hospital treatment. However, private health insurance can offer additional benefits, such as choice of doctor and shorter waiting times for elective surgeries.

What health services are generally covered under children’s health insurance?

Children’s health insurance often covers a range of health services, including dental check-ups, orthodontics, physiotherapy, and sometimes psychological services. Coverage depends on the specific policy.

Find the Right Health Insurance for Your Family

If you’re searching for private health cover for your family but are overwhelmed by all the choices available, don’t worry, we can help!

Simply use our free online tool below to get personalised family health cover quotes from Australia’s leading health fund providers in minutes!