Imagine if the Brady Bunch needed eight different health insurance policies - it’d be a nightmare! Thankfully, you can purchase family private health insurance and rest assured each one of your family members is protected under the one policy.
In Australia, we’re lucky to have access to the public healthcare system. Medicare helps cover part or sometimes even all of the cost of certain medical health care services, but there are some services that aren’t included.
If you want your family covered for many common procedures and consultations, then Family Health insurance is worth considering. It’s a great way to protect your family and if you make the most of the benefits, you might even save some money.
What types of treatments not covered by Medicare could be covered by Family Health Insurance?
Medicare only covers certain medical procedures. The good news is family health insurance could cover a lot more, including things like dental and orthodontic treatments, physiotherapy, speech therapy, contacts and glasses. See a list of what could be included here and make sure you check what’s included in your policy before you sign up.
What types of family health insurance policies are available?
There are generally three types of family health insurance policies to choose from:
Family Hospital Cover: can help you pay for in-hospital treatments at a private or public hospital, including theatre fees for surgery and accommodation at a hospital. You also typically get to choose your doctor and hospital. When deciding on a policy it’s important to think about what your family needs and will use don’t search for ‘cheap family health insurance’. First, consider what tier is suitable for your family: Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic. This will determine the premium you pay and what treatments you’re covered for.
Family Extras Cover: can provide you and your family with a level of cover for part (or all) of the costs of some allied health services that Medicare does not usually pay a rebate for, like dental and optical. When choosing an extras cover policy there are usually three levels to choose from: basic, medium, and comprehensive. Remember to check what’s included in your policy before signing up, as not all treatments will necessarily be included.
Family CombinationCover:family extras cover and family hospital policies cover very different things, so a lot of people actually get both. If you take out hospital cover and extras cover for your family you can usually combine them into a single policy You should also be able to combine different levels of cover to suit your needs, for example you might want gold hospital cover and a medium extras policy.
Compare from our range of different policies and providers to find suitable cover for your family, . which iSelect can help you with! Call 13 19 20 and someone from our team will help to compare from our range of policies and providers..
What are some benefits of family health insurance?
Here’s a list of some of the benefits that can come with family health insurance:
Skip hospital waiting times: one of the big struggles in the public healthcare system is the waiting times. If you have health insurance you can go to a private hospital and generally skip the long waiting times for elective surgeries, such as hip replacements, cataract extraction, and ligament repairs.
Choice of doctor and hospital: family health insurance can also give you and your family more power to choose when it comes to what doctor and hospital you want to have your procedure at.
Save money on the services you use a lot: one of the best things about private health insurance with extras cover is that you might be able to get money back on non-medicare health services, like dental, physiotherapy and optical. Saving on the smaller things like this can help pay for some of the bigger stuff in life, like schooling, mortgages and loans.
Private Hospital Rooms: public patients often share a room with several other patients, but with most private health policies, you and anyone under the same cover in your family can request a private room at the hospital (subject to availability).
Manage unexpected costs: health insurance acts a bit like a safety net. So you don’t have to be worried about being caught off guard with any unexpected costs, like dental care, chronic illness or hospital treatments.
Being a working mum, with young kids is stressful enough without having to worry about what would happen if one of them – or you – became seriously unwell. Having private cover for my family gives me invaluable peace of mind that if something unexpected was to happen, my kids would have access to the best possible healthcare, including the ability to choose our preferred doctor as well as skipping long public hospital waiting times.
How do I know what family health insurance cover to get?
Well, it depends on the size and shape of your family. When choosing a Family Health insurance policy you should consider the age, lifestyle and medical history of every member in your family.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Are you planning on having another child? If the answer is yes, then you might want to consider getting a hospital policy that includes pregnancy cover. As pregnancy and birth generally has a 12 month waiting period so we suggest you start looking at getting cover about a year before you want to start planning for new arrival. For pregnancy cover, you may want to look at Gold-tier policies, as this is the only tier that includes obstetrics as a minimum requirement.
Do you have young children? Then you might want to look at a policy that covers a range of services. From little monkey-bar warriors to football superstars, kids are a little more susceptible to accidents and illnesses. Additionally, procedures for grommets and tonsils can often come with longer waiting lists in the public sector. But with health insurance, your child may not have to wait nearly as long to be treated.
Do you have older children? Generally, if they’re under the age of 25 they can still be on your family health insurance policy. But you might want to consider whether you’re on an appropriate level of cover. If they need prescription glasses, physiotherapy or orthodontic work, it might be worth moving from a basic to comprehensive extras. Alternatively, you might find they’re hardly using any of the benefits and it’d be more worthwhile going down a tier and paying a lower premium.
Does anyone in your family have any specific needs? If you know someone is going to need regular checkups for stuff like dental, speech therapy or podiatry, then it again might be worthwhile looking at policy that provides benefits for therapies.
What could family health insurance cost?
Like all insurance policies, the cost for family health cover varies depending on the provider you choose to go with, the level of cover and your family. Compare a range of different policies and providers to find one that suits you and your family. You can do this online here or you can even call iSelect on 13 19 20 and we can help you over the phone.
If I have family health insurance do I have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge?
Good news! If you have appropriate private hospital health insurance, you don’t have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Going off your current income, you can use the table below to work out which rate applies to you and your family1. The MLS rate of 1%, 1.25% or 1.5% is levied on your taxable income.
$180,000 or less
$180,001 - $210,000
$210,001 - $280,000
$280,001 or more
Medicare Levy Surcharge
If you have two or more dependent children, the family income threshold is also increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.
How long can my kids stay on my family health insurance policy?
Until your kids turn 18, they’re automatically covered under your family health insurance policy as dependents. Once they hit 18, it’s up to your insurer whether or not they still qualify. If they’re a full time student or financially dependent on you, some insurers will still allow them to stay on your policy or they may ask that you pay a higher premium. Generally, once they hit 25, they’re considered independent and booted off your cover. So they’ll need to weigh up going on their own health insurance plan or relying on Medicare.
How do I compare family health insurance policies?
Choosing a suitable policy for your family might seem daunting, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Because we can do it for you! Just call 13 19 20 and someone from our team could help you find a health insurance policy that suits you and your family from our range of policies and providers.
Canna is a qualified financial planner, the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm, and the founder of SugarMamma TV. She is Channel 9's exclusive 'money expert', and best-selling author of The $1000 Project & Mindful Money.
*iSelect does not compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Click here to view iSelect's range of providers