Before 2007, single parents who wanted to benefit from private health insurance in Australia were forced, out of limited options, to select and pay for family cover. However, as family coverage includes two adults and their dependents, single parents were thus paying a higher premium without any additional benefit.
Nowadays, private health insurance companies are able to offer packages with lower premiums which are designed to the needs of single-parent households with coverage that would include only a single adult and qualified dependents.
Who Qualifies as a Dependent?
Private health insurance companies usually acknowledge three kinds of dependents. They are:
- Child dependent: Unmarried children below 21 years of age who depend on the policyholder for financial support
- Student dependent: Unmarried people between 21 and 25 years old who are engaging in full-time study
- Adult dependent: Unmarried people between 21 and 25 years old who are not engaging in full-time study
It should be noted that not all insurers cover adult dependents by default. Those that do would typically charge a supplementary fee in addition to the standard single parent policy premium.
What Are the Benefits of a Single-Parent Private Health Insurance Policy?
Every parent would wish for a wide range of services, including health services, to be available for their children. Generally, a private health insurance policy for single parents would entitle clients to the following benefits:
- The ability to select and seek service from their preferred healthcare practitioner or specialist, as well as the privilege to be put on priority listings for any non-essential medical procedures
- In-hospital procedures to be completed in either a public or private hospital, and accommodation in a private or shared ward for any hospital stay
- Depending on the level of Extras Cover selected, orthodontics coverage for children. Medicare offers only restricted dental coverage for dependents, and acquiring orthodontic treatment, such as braces, for a child can be a great financial burden for a household with a single income
- Ophthalmologic benefits, including both vision tests and prescription glasses or contact lenses
- Audiology benefits that cover speech therapy, if needed
- Depending on the policy chosen, benefits may include no excess or co-payments for any dependent admitted to a private or public hospital, as well as gap free extras on selected levels of Extras Cover
- A Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) - payment exemption or a rebate on health insurance premiums - may be provided by the government, conditional on the policy holder’s and income bracket
Are There Penalties for Switching Health Insurance Policies?
There is no fee in switching from family cover to single-parent cover, so long as the policyholder selects a new plan that offers an equal or better coverage level compared to their previous policy. When divorcing, individuals should switch to a new policy (with a similar cover to the existing policy), prior to the expiration of their current policy.
In doing so, policyholders would be able to avoid waiting periods. The leading risk of financial loss is seen when those who have paid their annual health insurance premiums up-front, decide to change to a new policy before the year is over. This is because prepaid premiums cannot usually be refunded or transferred to a new policy.
Understanding the benefits of a new policy and switching to a more suitable plan become easy when facilitated by a reliable service, such as iSelect Health Insurance, which allows clients to request quotes, compare benefits, and switch to a new policy or plan, all through a computer or mobile device.
As Australia’s Life Admin Store™, iSelect helps customers take care of some of life’s most important purchase decisions. They are proud of the service they provide to the millions of Australians who seek expert advice each year. With plenty of partners and hundreds of policies, plans and products, iSelect gives customers the confidence to make the right call on the things that matter most.
Their dedicated departments cover all of life’s essentials, from choosing the right health insurance, life insurance, obtaining a car insurance quote to a home loan comparison. iSelect can help customers with electricity providers, broadband connections, and even take care of travel insurance.
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