If you have private health cover for your family, it’s important to regularly review that cover as you get older and your kids become independent. You won’t need cover for pregnancy or your kids’ braces any more, but you’re likely to need more chiro, physio and hospital cover as you get older.
Will it cost more or less?
There’s no simple answer to this question. While singles or couples health cover is usually cheaper than family cover, it depends on the type and extent of cover that you have, as well as the insurer that you choose and the age at which you first took out your private health cover.
It’s important to do your research to compare coverage among different health insurance providers, and to ensure you’re paying for the cover you need. Extras you might want to consider as you get older include:
- hearing aids
Make sure you know what is and isn’t included in your health insurance policy.
One important consideration is whether you want to keep your adult children on your policy or not. While family cover will generally be more expensive than singles or couples cover, there can be benefits for your kids in keeping them on your policy and they could help contribute to their share of the cost.
A recent change made by the Federal Government allows adult children to stay covered on the private health insurance policy of their parents up until the age of 31 if their insurer allows this to happen. Previously, all adult children had to be removed from their parents’ health insurance policies by the time they were 25. This raising of the age limit is the government recognising that more adult children live at home for longer due to the tight rental market and the need to save money to buy a property.
In addition, there is now no age limit of dependants with a disability staying on their parents’ health insurance policy. It is at the discretion of the insurer.
Why would you want to keep your adult kids on your health cover?
If you keep your adult kids on your health insurance policy until the age of 31, it can ensure their coverage up until they reach the Lifetime Health Cover eligibility age. Australians who don’t take out their private health cover policy prior to turning 31 are charged an extra 2% loading on their health insurance hospital cover premium for every subsequent year that they don’t have this cover.
Health insurance FAQs
How many Australians have private health insurance?
According to the most recent statistics from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), 45% of Australians have private hospital cover, and 55% have private hospital and extras cover (i.e. cover for a range of out-of-hospital medical care services based on their needs).
How much do older Australians spend on private health insurance?
As mentioned earlier, the cost of coverage varies depending on the type and extent of cover you have, the insurer, and whether or not you had private health insurance prior to turning 31. According to the most recent figures available, the average annual premium for hospital and extras cover for older Australians is around $2,800.
How often do health insurance premiums rise?
Health insurance providers are only legally allowed to raise their premiums once a year. This usually happens in April.
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