As a single parent, you’re likely juggling many things at once – with your child’s health certainly at the top of the list. From unexpected bumps and scrapes to regular doctor visits, it’s important to make sure your kids have the best healthcare possible.
That’s where single parent health cover comes into play. It’s a type of health insurance designed specifically for families like yours. It takes into account the special needs of single parents and their children, giving you a safety net for those just-in-case moments.
In this article, we’ll break down what single parent health cover includes. We’ll go over things like hospital & extras cover, emergency ambulance cover and more. The goal? To help you find the right health insurance policy that fits your single parent family.
But keep in mind, while your children are covered under your policy, the age until which they are covered and the amount you have to pay for your premiums can vary. These depend on the specific rules of your health fund. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through all these details, too.
Advantages of Single Parent Health Insurance
Securing the right insurance cover can speed up your access to private hospital services, making healthcare more affordable for you and your children. Let’s look at some of the perks of having private hospital cover:
- No more lengthy waits on public hospital lists for elective surgeries
- Less costly visits to private hospitals
- The freedom to choose your preferred treating doctor (subject to availability)
- The luxury of a private room in a private hospital (subject to availability).
- Ultimately, having hospital cover offers you invaluable peace of mind. You know that if an accident occurs, your child will receive prompt and effective treatment in a private hospital.
How Much Does it Cost to Add Your Child to Your Health Cover?
The cost of adding your child to your health cover as a single parent is often free up until a certain age, but it does depend on your health fund and your level of cover; whether you take out hospital cover, extras cover or combined hospital and extras (the best value cover).
Health insurance policies are categorised into four tiers:
- Basic – very little cover in a private hospital
- Bronze – low cover
- Silver – medium cover
- Gold – full or top cover.
In between these main tiers, there are also Silver Plus, Bronze Plus and Basic Plus policies that cover at least one service more than the normal Silver, Bronze or Basic policies.
From our research, the average cost of single parent health cover is around $160 per month at a minimum for bronze hospital cover – which covers your dependants at no extra cost (depending on their age). However, the price varies by factors such as location, and level of cover.
Take This Example…
The reality is, private health insurance policies for single parents do cost more than single adult policies.
- For example, an HCF bronze hospital policy for a single female in NSW is $88.55 per month, while a single parent bronze hospital is $140.55 per month.
This is where single parent health insurance differs from a family health insurance policy, since couples can often add dependents at no additional cost.
- An HCF bronze hospital policy for a family costs $177.15 per month.
- This is the exact same price as a bronze hospital policy for a couple.
The above prices don’t even take into account extras cover, only hospital cover.
While health insurance for single parents does typically cost less than a two-parent family policy, it does cost more than a single person policy. So just be wary when health funds say “Add you kids for free” to your health insurance policy, you’re still paying a higher premium than single people with no dependants.
That’s why it’s essential you shop around to find the right cover for you and your dependants, because premiums do vary from health fund to health fund.
What’s Included in Single Parent Private Health?
If you’re looking at just hospital cover, for a bronze policy you’ll be covered for restricted cover for rehab, psychiatric services and palliative care, but you’ll also be covered for the following treatments with no restrictions:
- Brain and nervous system
- Eye (not cataracts)
- Ear, nose, and throat
- Tonsils, adenoids, and grommets
- Bone, joint, and muscle
- Joint reconstructions
- Kidney and bladder
- Male reproductive system
- Digestive system
- Hernia and appendix
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy
- Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy
- Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy for cancer
- Pain management
- Breast surgery (medically necessary)
- Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)
Bronze hospital cover won’t offer you the same level of protection as the Silver or Gold tiers, however, your insurer can offer you cover for additional treatments. These policies are known as bronze plus policies.
Why Consider Extras Cover
Navigating through the complexities of single parenting can be tough, particularly when unforeseen costs such as glasses, speech therapy, physiotherapy, or orthodontics arise. While these non-hospital treatments aren’t usually included in hospital insurance, there’s an alternative: extras cover or general treatment cover.
Medicare partially covers basic dental expenses for children until they reach 17. However, if you want to take care of preventative or major dental expenses, opting for extras cover could be a wise decision that could save you money in the long run.
Keep in mind, extras family cover comes with per person and annual limits. So, before you claim any extras services, it’s essential to understand your coverage thoroughly to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.
- Extras cover can cover you for:
- General and major dental care
- Orthodontics, endodontics, and optical treatments
- Physiotherapy, remedial massage, chiropractic services, and podiatry
- Orthotics, exercise physiology, psychology
- Non-PBS pharmaceuticals, lifestyle programs, and eye therapy
- Occupational and speech therapy, hearing aids, dietitian services
- Health aids and appliances
- Ambulance cover, which can vary based on your state and policy specifics.
It’s crucial to understand that the extent of these benefits can differ from policy to policy. Be sure to check the details with your health fund.
Separating From Your Partner? Here’s What You Need to Know
Transitioning through a separation can be tough. Yet, when it comes to your health insurance, you don’t need to stress about re-completing waiting periods if you switch to an equal or lower level of cover. If you’ve already served the waiting periods with an insurance provider, and move to your new policy within your health fund’s given timeframe, your cover will continue seamlessly.
Switching to single parent cover is often as simple as a phone call, and it usually doesn’t involve extra fees. Plus, this change could mean lower premiums! Remember, though, that this might affect your eligibility for the Australian Government Rebate. Although you’re still within the family income limit, your partner’s income won’t be factored in anymore.
Can single health insurance cover your children?
Yes, it can. But, if your cover is currently only for you, you’ll need to switch to a single parent policy.
Is health insurance just for children possible?
Some health funds might offer cover options for child-only policies. However, it’s wise to include yourself too, because your health is also vital for your family. Many insurers offer policies designed for single-income families, a convenient and practical alternative to children-only cover.
Do single parents pay more for health insurance?
Single parent health insurance often costs more than single adult policies. This is because it’s different from family policies where couples can often add dependents at no extra charge. But, single parent health insurance still generally costs less than a two-parent family policy, offering valuable coverage for your family’s health.
Until what age does single parent health insurance cover children?
Typically, children can stay on your single parent health insurance until they’re 21. Some health funds may even allow dependants to remain on your policy for free until they’re 25 or older. But remember, in some cases, your child might need to be studying full-time to stay covered up to the maximum age limit. Always check the specifics with your health fund.
Can you get rebates on your single parent health insurance?
Absolutely! If you have private hospital or extras cover, you may qualify for the Private Health Insurance Rebate based on your income. This rebate can either lower your health insurance premiums or allow you to claim a portion of your premiums back at tax time. To be eligible for the full rebate, your yearly income as a single parent should be less than $93,000 (from 1 July 2024).
Let CHI Help You Find the Right Single Parent Health Cover
If you’re searching for private health cover as a single parent but are overwhelmed by all the choices available, don’t worry, we can help!
Simply use our free online tool below to get personalised health cover quotes from Australia’s leading health fund providers in minutes!