Have you aged-out of your family’s health cover?


3 minutes

12 December 2019

Aged-out your parents cover
Last updated:

Put a hold on those brunch plans for a minute; it might be time to sort out your health cover options before it’s time to come off your parents’ policy. We’ve got the answers to some of the questions you may be asking, so you can decide where to go next.  

How long do I have?

With HBF, you can stay on your family policy until you turn 21, as long as you're not married or living in a de-facto relationship. You can stay on the policy a few more years – until you're 25 – if you’re a full-time student or earning a taxable income of less than $24,500 per year.

Do I need private health insurance?

If you think you can go to a public hospital for free, you'd be right. But private health insurance has a few perks of its own. With hospital cover, you can:

Get treatment straight away - When people first take out health insurance, they normally have to wait before they claim on certain services. You’ve already served the waiting periods on your family cover – and you won’t have to serve them again when you get your own cover. Just remember that new services, or services with a higher benefit, will have new waiting periods to serve.

Skip the wait time for surgery - If you need surgery, you'll get to choose when you have it, instead of going on a public hospital waiting list and potentially waiting months or even years.

Avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) - The MLS is an extra tax that you'll have to pay if you dont have hospital insurance, but only when you start earning more than $93,000 ($186,000 as a couple or family). Depending on your income, you'll pay between 1% and 1.5%. The aim of the MLS is to encourage people who can afford it to take out hospital insurance, use private hospitals, and reduce some of the pressure on the public system.

Avoid the Lifetime Health Cover Loading (LHC) -Lifetime Health Cover Loading is another cost you can dodge if you take out hospital insurance. This one kicks in after your turn 31 and adds 2% to the cost of your hospital cover every year – up to 70%.

Basically, the longer you wait to take out hospital cover, the more you have to pay. That extra cost sticks around for 10 continuous years, so it’s another good reason to take out cover now.

Should I get the same level of cover as my parents? 

Probably not. They’re at a completely different life stage from you which means they’re likely paying for cover you likely won’t need for a while (think joint replacement and heart surgery). That said, everyone’s health needs are different – so make sure to consider your situation when looking at health cover.   

But you’re not starting from scratch, which makes it much easier to choose the cover that’s right for you. 

When it comes to extras cover, think about the benefits you’ve been using on your family plan (if any) and take it from there. Then ask yourself if there are any other services you’d like to start using. Take a look at the full list of extras options to help you decide. 

With hospital cover, if you’re young and healthy, you can probably stick to the more affordable end of the spectrum. There’ll be plenty of time to level up as you get older and want more peace of mind.

So, should I just go with the basics? 

Unless you have a specific medical condition, play a tonne of sport, or you’re thinking about having kids soon, our Basic Hospital Plus cover and Basic Extras cover is a great place to start. 

Basic Hospital Plus is great because it’s affordable, but still includes cover for a bunch of services like accident cover, dental surgery and knee and shoulder reconstructions. Just make sure to check the full list of inclusions and exclusions to make sure it’s right for you.

If your goal is to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover Loading, then basic hospital is the most affordable way to do it.

When it comes to extras, our Basic Extras cover includes general services like Preventative Dental, Physiotherapy, Optical and Chiro and is a solid (and affordable) option if you don’t make a lot of claims. If you think you’ll be heavy on the claims or you want cover for more services, you’ll need to level up.

I’m overwhelmed. Help?

Understandable. The good news is that you still have time, and we have 80 years of experience helping people like you choose the right cover for their needs and budget. Pick up the phone, chat to us online, or book an appointment at a branch if you need a hand. 

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