Can Divorced Couples Share Health Insurance In Australia? 

Find out if you can share your health insurance after divorce and what alternatives you may have with Savvy. 

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, updated on July 10th, 2023       

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Divorce can be a stressful time for all parties concerned, and there comes a time when decisions have to be made about joint private health insurance policies. This is particularly relevant if a family policy is held which includes cover for dependent children. 

Find out about the rules surrounding private health insurance and divorce here with Savvy and discover if you can continue to share your health cover policy with your ex-spouse after divorce. 

Can divorced couples share health insurance in Australia?

Divorced couples in Australia can no longer share a family or couples private health insurance policy. This is because when a couple separates or divorces the original family unit is dissolved, so each individual will need to obtain their own separate health insurance policy. 

This legal change in status takes effect as soon as the couple are no longer living under the same roof, as a requirement to hold a couples or family policy is that all named persons on the insurance policy live together in the same household. 

However, as all insurers have their own rules and regulations, you should check with your specific health fund about how separation or divorce will affect your health insurance policy. 

What happens to health cover for children after divorce?

Following your separation or divorce, you and your ex-partner will need to make a decision about which one of you will continue to provide private health cover for your kids. This will depend on the custody arrangements that you come to with your ex-partner and the financial arrangements you agree on about provision of health cover for your children. 

Your options could include: 

  • One of you pays for a singles health insurance policy, and the other custodial parent takes out a single parent policy which includes cover for the children 
  • If you share custody of your children, you could both take out a single parent policy that includes your children 
  • You could ask your health fund to temporarily pause your health cover on hardship grounds until separation issues are resolved 
  • You could cancel your private health insurance entirely until your financial situation is more settled 

The financial arrangements about who will pay the premium for a single parent policy in the event of shared custody of your children will need to be worked out as a part of your larger divorce financial arrangements. 

Frequently asked questions about health insurance after divorce

When do divorced couples have to notify their health insurance provider about their divorce?

Divorced couples should notify their health insurance provider about their divorce as soon as possible after their separation. This is important so the policy details can be accurately updated and separate health insurance policies issued (if each half of the couple wants to change their cover to a single policy). 

How do I remove my ex-spouse from my health insurance policy?

To remove an ex-spouse from a health insurance policy, you'll need to contact your health insurance provider and request a change to the policy details. You may need to provide proof of the divorce, such as a decree nisi or final divorce confirmation. However, the policyholder is the only person who can add or remove a person from a health insurance policy. 

Will my divorce affect my waiting period for health insurance benefits?

No – a divorce shouldn’t affect your waiting periods for health insurance benefits if you take out a new single policy at a similar level to your previous insurance policy. However, if you switch to a new hospital insurance policy with a higher level of cover after your divorce, you may need to serve waiting periods for certain benefits which you weren’t covered for previously. If you’re unsure about which waiting periods may apply to you, you should contact your health fund to confirm the exact details of how your divorce will affect your health cover, as all funds have different rules and regulations. 

Is health insurance considered a financial asset in a divorce settlement in Australia?

Yes – health insurance is considered a financial asset and may need to be changed or cancelled as part of the divorce settlement agreement. You should seek independent legal and tax advice about how your divorce will affect your health insurance and how you should complete your tax return in the year you separate and divorce. 

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