With so many health insurance options it can be difficult to decide which one will be the best for your family. You need a plan that suits your specific family situation – whether you’re pregnant and starting a family or a single parent doing it by yourself. No matter what your circumstances, you want to protect your loved ones’ health and make sure they have access to fast treatment at an affordable price.
The Best Family Health Insurance in Australia
Our guide to finding private health insurance for your whole family will help you choose the best health cover at the most affordable price. Start by comparing a variety of health insurance policies and decide which one is best suited to your family.
For example, as a two-parent family with teenagers, you might want cover that fits in with your budget and includes major dental, glasses, physiotherapy, and surgery to remove adenoids, appendixes, and tonsils.
How do family types affect the kind of cover you need?
The only similarity all families share is the knowledge that you’ll grow and change. Other than that, every family is different, and each requires its own kind of health cover. Remember, if you’re switching health insurance because your family has outgrown your current plan, you usually won’t need to re-serve waiting periods when you transfer to another plan.
Family types generally fall into four categories:
- Starting a family / Pregnant
- Young families
- Single-parent families
- Established families
Companies offering family health care insurance
There are many Australian health insurance companies offering family plans, giving you more freedom as you decide which one suits your unique family dynamic. Compare different health funds and make sure you are getting the cover you need and can afford.
Health insurance for low income families
If you’re a low-income family, you have several options to protect you and your family against the financial burden of health-related costs. Firstly, you have access to Medicare, which gives you admission to public healthcare for some treatments and services, at no charge, by a doctor appointed by the hospital.
As a low-income family, you and your dependent children might also be entitled to a Low Income Health Care Card, which gives you:
- Discounted medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
- Bigger Refunds for medical costs when you reach the Medicare Safety Net.
- The ability to bulk bill your doctor visits.
While these are good options to help pay for medical treatments, there is also affordable private health insurance for low income families that will provide you with cover for basic hospital and a few extras. HBF, for example, offers you Super Saver Hospital and Saver Flexi Extras, their low-cost options.
How to save on family health care insurance
The cost of private health insurance in Australia is higher than most other countries, made even more expensive by the recent price hike of approximately 4.84% that took place earlier this year. However, how much you pay all depends on the company you choose, your policy type, and the extras you have included.
While there may be cheaper family health insurance policies out there, make sure you look at why they are so cheap. Cheaper policies may include additional exclusions, higher excesses, and bigger co-payments. It’s a good idea to first read through the Standard Information Statement (SIS) of a policy before making a commitment.
Tips to save on your family health cover:
- Review and compare costs and features of a variety of health cover
- Be realistic about what you need cover for and make sure you’re not spending money on services you won’t use, like pregnancy cover if you’re not planning to have more children.
- Avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge, which is an additional tax that Australians who don’t have private hospital cover pay, by taking out private health cover and choosing an of $1000 or less for families.
- Avoid the Lifetime Health Cover Loading, which is an additional 2% on top of your health insurance premiums, by taking out private cover for your family before 1 July after your 31st
- You can also save with the Australian Government Private Health Insurance rebate, which helps cover the cost of your premiums and is calculated based on your age and income.
FAQs | Family health insurance
Children can remain on your family policy until they’re deemed adults by your health fund, which is usually 18 years old. Generally, children can stay covered as a student if they’re studying full-time and between the age 21-25. If your child isn’t studying full-time, you can cover them as an adult dependant from the age 21-25 for an additional fee.
You might want health insurance for your baby, especially in an emergency. Although medical care for your baby will probably be covered by Medicare, this cover might not provide for financial protection from some unexpected medical events that may arise in your child’s life. Just note that you must contact your health fund to add your baby to your cover.
To get international family health insurance, you need to get a quote from the health fund of your choice, accept their terms and conditions, and pay your first premium. There are several insurers who offer what is known as “485 insurance”, including NiB, Bupa, and Medibank. It’s important to compare each option to make sure that your family has the cover they need while living in Australia.
Health insurance for military families in Australia is simple to navigate. Permanent ADF members are automatically covered by Defence Health and can cover their partners and children, too, which is easily done online or over the phone.
You can manage your policy online by using their Online Member Services to view your cover and limits and even claim for certain treatments. Other ways to claim, include swiping your Defence Health membership card on the spot, using their mobile app, and even emailing, faxing, or posting your claim form to Defence Health.
Before you choose a health insurance policy for your family’s specific circumstances and requirements, make sure that you compare other top health funds to determine which one will provide you with the best cover at the best price.
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