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Best Health Insurance for Singles

Megan Fraser Updated: 11 May 2020
Types of Health Insurance

If you’re single and looking for health cover that will suit your lifestyle and provide value for money, then rest assured adequate cover for both young and old is available.

The best health insurance for singles are the ones based on your specific circumstances and individual needs. However, getting health insurance earlier in life will generally be more affordable.  There are a variety of health cover options available, and you can mix and match Hospital and Extras to find your perfect fit.

This article is for you if you’re single and looking for the best private health insurance that will suit your needs and budget.

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Why is it important to take out health cover early in life?

It’s a good idea to invest in health cover early in life because, usually, the younger you are when taking out a policy, the lower your premiums. Young adults will avoid the 2% Lifetime Health Cover loading. This is generally due to you still being in good health and thus a lower risk of lodging a claim.

In July 2000, the Australian Government launched an initiative called Lifetime Health Cover (LHC), which aims to encourage people between 25 and 30 years old to purchase private hospital insurance.

If you choose to take out hospital cover with a private health fund later in life, after age 31, you could potentially pay an additional 2% loading penalty fee with your regular premium for every year you’ve delay buying cover. This loading will be removed once you’ve had continuous cover for 10 years.

Why do you need health cover when you’re young and single?

Health insurances offer various financial benefits when taking out hospital cover when you’re still young and single. You’ll avoid the Medicare Levy Supercharge if you have a registered health fund with a yearly front-end deductible or excess no greater than $500 when you’re single and  $1000 for families/couples.

What is the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is an additional 1-1.5% levy that must be paid by Australian taxpayers who do not have private health cover and are considered to be high income earners (a single person with a taxable income greater than $90,000 in the 2016/2017 financial year). The levy aims to encourage individuals to purchase private heath funds to reduce pressure on the public healthcare system (Medicare). If you are

Best health insurance for young singles

You should consider singles cover when:

When choosing singles cover, there are two main factors you need to consider:

1. Your health cover profile

Make a list of all the chronic medication you require, as well as previous operations and hospital visits. It’s also a good idea to have adequate information concerning your family’s medical history. Remember to take your fitness level, body mass index (BMI) and daily activities into account when comparing policy options.

2. Waiting periods

If there’s a break in cover between moving from your parents’ policy to your own, you will have to serve a waiting period before you’re able to receive benefits from your new policy. For example, you might have to wait six months before claiming for that new pair of glasses. Try to avoid such a waiting period by planning well in advance.

To continue being covered, you will need to choose a level of cover that is equal to or lesser than your parents’ policy. Fortunately, you will be covered by a grace period of 30 days once you’re no longer eligible to be considered as a dependent.

Tips for choosing the cheapest health insurance for singles

Before choosing a policy, remember to keep your needs, general health, lifestyle and income in mind. Find answers to the below questions when reviewing your insurance options:

  • What added incentives or membership discounts are there when signing up?
  • Does the insurer provide Access Gap Cover to help minimize or remove out-of-pocket expenses? For example, if you have poor eyesight, how much would Extras Cover cost?
  • What are the minimal benefit restrictions or exclusions on services and treatments? For example, if you enjoy extreme sports that have a higher risk of injury; would your policy still cover physiotherapy?
  • Do you have the option of claiming government rebates without penalties?

Singles health insurance comparison

It is worth it to shop around, comparing what different health funds offer, and then choosing the best option for you. You generally have three health cover types to choose from.

Hospital only cover

Designed to protect you against in-hospital procedures. There are various options to choose from, each policy created specifically to meet the health insurance requirements for unattached individuals.

Extras only cover

Extras only provide cover for out-of-pocket medical expenses. This is frequently for out-of-hospital treatment such as optical, dental, physiotherapy, etc. By taking out an Extras cover, you are entitled to the Australian Government’s private insurance rebate, which makes the cover affordable.

Combined cover

This is a health insurance policy that offers both hospital and extras cover in one package. The advantage is that you only have to manage one policy instead of two.

Examples of hospital cover options

Description Bupa Young Singles Saver Bupa Young Singles Choice HBF Young singles Saver
Policy type A basic, budget-priced policy with at least 60% back on most general dental, physiotherapy and chiropractic services at Members First Healthcare Providers. Medium cover, meaning full cover is provided for cardiac, and pregnancy services, but with selected services only minimum cover is offered. You have a choice between $250 and a $500 excess. A basic, budget-priced policy. Offering lots of flexibility, so you won’t have to pay for services and health cover you may not need.
Best for Young, fit and healthy individuals, not planning to have children. Young, fit and unmarried with a new career. Young, healthy individuals and couples not planning to have children.
Average monthly premium $141.80 $161.40 From $15.50 per week for hospital only cover.

Private Health Insurance Extras Cover offered to young singles

Private Health Insurance Extras-only is an option that can be bought for as little as $10 a week. This cover enables you to claim hospital-related medical services not normally covered by basic medical insurance. There are three options to choose from. Although the names of each option may differ according to each specific fund, the benefits essentially remain the same:

Comprehensive Extras

If you are a mature single, 50 years and older, you might consider this option. While more expensive, these packages generally offer the most benefits. Benefits are rated as equal or above the industry average.

Many non-hospital treatments such as occupational therapy, blood glucose monitors and remedial massage are included alongside common services, such as major dental, ortho- and endodontics, and home nursing.

Medium Extras

This option is best suited for people between the ages of 35 and 50 years old. Affordability is based on the cover you choose. You’ll pay a reasonable premium amount and receive a broad range of services like major dental, optical, physio or occupational therapy.

Basic Extras

With a limited selection of vital treatments, this cover is for young, healthy and fit single people. Benefits, like general dental, optical and physiotherapy are covered with limited annual benefits, resulting in lower premiums.

Can single parent health insurance be covered by a singles policy?

No, single parent health insurance is a completely separate product. In the past, single parents were forced to buy cover under a family policy, which meant they were charged double as much. Fortunately, government legislation changed in 2007, enabling health funds to offer premium reductions to single parents, making health cover more affordable.

To ensure you get the best health cover and the best possible price you should shop around because reductions for single parent policies differ between health funds. Whereas one option may offer a 10% reduction, another may offer 25%. If you’re a single parent and purchased health cover pre-2007, check that you are receiving a reduction. If not, it might be worth considering switching to another policy.

As a single parent, you might consider investing in the Comprehensive Extras Insurance for a higher level of cover. However, before committing to any policy, make sure you first compare all your options carefully.

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Single vs single parent private health insurance

If you’re planning to start a family, you will need hospital insurance with added maternity benefits. However, all maternity benefits come with a waiting period which can last up to 12-months. Should you fall pregnant within this 12 month period, you will not be covered. This is why planning is so important.

Health insurance for Singles HBF Health Insurance for Single Parents HBF
Covers the primary policy owner only. Covers the primary policy holder and dependents.
For healthy individuals not planning to have a family in the near future. For singles starting a family, or with existing dependents.
You only pay for what you are most likely to need. Various options are available: Basic covers most common hospital treatments. High level covers extensive treatments with fewer gaps on most hospital services, including maternity.

Health insurance single vs couple

In Australia, you are eligible for couples cover when you are either:

  • Married.
  • In a registered opposite sex or same sex marriage.
  • In a de facto relationship. Meaning, you and your partner are not legally married, but are in a committed relationship and live together on a genuine domestic basis.

Bupa has various health insurance profiles for couples, with mix and match Hospital and Extras cover to suit your budget and needs. You might consider the Simple Start, Budget Hospital, Bronze Extras or Young Couples Saver if you are just starting out and not planning on having children yet. Once you have an established career, you might benefit more from Bupa’s Young couples’ choice, Standard Hospital and Silver Extras.

What costs does private health insurance cover for young singles?

The cost of private health insurance cover for young singles can vary. Although many policy offerings are similar, there are subtle yet significant differences, which is why it is so important to make a proper comparison of the options available to you.

Health Insurance Cover
This is a non-profit health insurance company with over 80 years’ experience. You are covered against all public and private hospital costs, with many extras to choose from.
  1. Bronze Hospital & Bronze Extras Set Benefits:
    $20.35 per week for entry level hospital cover. Includes preventative dental and optical cover.
  2. Bronze Hospital & Silver Extras Set Benefits:
    $24.35 per week for entry level cover for a range of popular services to suit your lifestyle.
  3. Silver Hospital Plus & Bronze Extras Set Benefits:
    $29.90 per week for moderate cover. Includes private hospitalization with some exclusions. Also, includes cover for preventative dental.
Bupa provides immigration and migration insurance for singles and couples throughout Australia.
  1. Basic Hospital Cover:
    $17.85 weekly for Lower Cost Active Saver.
    $20.35 weekly for Great Value Simple Start.
  2. Budget Hospital Cover:
    $26.30 weekly with Bronze Extras
    $28.50 weekly with your choice extras
    $33.50 with Silver Extras
    $41.05 weekly with Gold Extras
    $47.95 weekly with Platinum extras
  3. Top Hospital Cover with Bronze Extras:
    $38.10 weekly
Frank has a range of hospital covers available to public hospitals in VIC.
  1. Best Hospital:
    $33.70 weekly with benefits.
  2. Better Hospital:
    $24.85 weekly and includes treatment in a public hospital and also any of the participating private hospitals.
  3. Basic Hospital:
    $21.85 weekly for entry level plus 50% back on popular extras.
    $23.95 weekly for entry level plus 80% back on popular extras.
Australia’s leading integrated healthcare company offers three main options for residents in NSW.
  1. Core hospital:
    $17.86 per week and includes colonoscopies, tonsils and knee reconstructive surgery.
  2. Standard Hospital:
    $24.05 per week and includes heart-related admissions in NSW.
  3. Hospital Essentials:
    From $16.44 per week with $5.38 per week added for Healthy Start Extras.
  1. Young Saver Hospital:
    $15.50 weekly.
  2. Young Singles Saver Twin Pack:
    $17.70 weekly.
  3. Mid Hospital:
    $23.20 weekly.

Whether you’re single and independent or a single parent, you need health insurance cover. Be careful not to base your choice on price alone. You generally get what you pay for; a cheaper policy might not provide sufficient cover. Shop around and ask a specialist for advice.

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