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Family Health Insurance

Exploring your family health insurance options? Compare a range of policies in one place through Savvy.

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, updated on July 7th, 2023       

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Health Insurance Banner

We’ve partnered with Compare Club to bring you a range of health insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

You’d do anything for your family, right? That means finding the right health cover at the right price for your partner and kids is one of the most important decisions you can make. You can compare a range of competitive offers for family health insurance from a panel of Australia’s leading providers with Savvy. Simply fill out a quick quote with us to compare offers in one place based on their cost, inclusions, added benefits and more. Get started with us today.

How does family health insurance work?

Family health insurance is designed to provide effective cover for you, your partner and your children. This cover can apply to services or treatments not covered by Medicare as well as hospital care. Under a family health insurance policy, you can take out hospital cover, extras cover or a combination of the two for the most comprehensive health and financial protection.

Family health insurance cover can apply to families of all sizes, with dependent children covered up to the age of 31 with some insurers.

What are the different types of family health insurance and what do they cover?

Family health insurance policy options include the following:

Family hospital cover

Hospital cover for families can help you access cover for medical services or treatments as a private patient in either a public or private hospital. Family hospital cover can also provide cover for part or all of your in-hospital treatment by your preferred doctor, plus in-hospital accommodation and theatre’ fees should you require surgery.

Hospital cover policies are divided into four tiers: basic, bronze, silver and gold. Each tier has its own benefits, and the cost of your insurance premiums will be largely dictated by the level of cover you choose. The more basic the policy, the cheaper the cost but the fewer inclusions you’re likely to have. Some of the key areas which may covered, depending on the type of policy you buy, include:

  1. Ambulance cover
  2. Private patient accommodation in private or public hospitals.
  3. Intensive care costs
  4. Operating theatre fees
  5. In-patient MRIs, x-rays, CT scans and pathology
  6. In-patient cancer and stroke treatment
  7. In-patient pharmaceuticals
  8. Cardiothoracic surgery for heart, lungs or chest
  9. In-patient rehab services
  10. Organ transplant
  11. Surgically implanted prostheses
  12. Eye surgery
  13. In-patient psychiatric treatment
  14. Palliative care
  15. Other surgeries and in-patient procedures including hip replacements, knee replacements, back surgery, dental surgery, hernia repair, colonoscopies and much more.

Each of these will be covered under a top tier gold hospital policy, but you may not have access to all of them under a less comprehensive plan.

Family extras cover

Family extras insurance can offer cover for the cost of treatments and health services outside a hospital setting, such as dentists and physiotherapists. The inclusions under a family extras policy will differ between insurers, but some of the common extras which are often considered for families include:

  1. Dental and/or orthodontics
  2. Optical
  3. Pharmacy
  4. Physiotherapy
  5. Podiatry
  6. Chiropractic
  7. Diet/nutrition services
  8. Speech therapy
  9. Preventative testing

Combined hospital and extras cover

A combined family hospital and extras cover policy can provide the benefits of both sorts of cover. It may allow you to take advantage of a combination of both sets of inclusions to boost the level of protection available to your family. It’s possible to mix the level of cover you have for both types of coverage, such as choosing a bronze hospital cover policy with a more comprehensive extras cover policy.

What isn’t covered?

The exclusions of your family health insurance will depend on the type and tier of cover you choose. Under a family health insurance policy with only hospital cover, the common exclusions can are:

  • Procedures which aren’t considered medically necessary (such as cosmetic surgeries)
  • Most CT scans, MRIs, x-rays and blood tests performed on outpatients
  • Visits to a GP or public hospital emergency department (which are either partially or fully covered by Medicare)

To gain a thorough understanding of a policy’s exclusions, carefully read your product information documents prior to help determine the cover you can access for yourself and your family.

Waiting periods for each type of hospital cover may vary but are usually:

  • 12 months for any pre-existing conditions.
  • 12 months for pregnancy or other birth services.
  • 2 months for rehab, psychiatric or palliative care (regardless of whether it’s a pre-existing condition).
  • 2 months under most other circumstances.

Types of health insurance

Why compare health insurance through Savvy?

What affects the cost of my family health insurance premiums?

Pros and cons of family health insurance

PROS

Claim additional benefits

Health services like dental treatment, physiotherapy and the cost of glasses which are not covered by Medicare can be covered by your family’s health insurance extras cover.

No Medicare Levy surcharge

By taking out appropriate hospital cover, you can avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) of between 1% and 1.5% for the period you hold hospital cover. The MLS is means-tested.

Avoid public hospital wait lists

Taking out family health insurance can reduce the waiting time for elective surgeries by accessing private hospital care.

Choice of doctor or surgeon

Appropriate family health insurance can allow you to choose your preferred doctor or surgeon subject to the terms and conditions of your particular policy.

Peace of mind

Having family health insurance can provide additional peace of mind, knowing that should an event occur which you're covered for, you may be able to make a claim for part or all of the cost.

CONS

Exclusions

Even with a private health insurance policy, you may not be covered for 100% of the cost of your treatment due to certain limits or gap fees, as well as exclusions for certain areas of coverage.

Not all dependent children can be covered

Even if your child lives at home and is still financially dependent, they may not be covered under your family health insurance policy once they reach 21 unless they’re a full-time student. However, some health funds will let you keep adult children on your policy up to the age of 31.

Waiting periods

When deciding on a family health insurance policy, it’s vital you compare your options broadly so you can look for suitable cover at a reasonable price. However, although the cost of your family health insurance is important, you mustn’t let that come at the cost of certain other features which are important to your family’s health.

Top tips for comparing family health insurance

Compare the cost of family health insurance premiums

When deciding on a family health insurance policy, it’s vital you compare your options broadly to get the best policy price for your needs. However, although the cost of your family health insurance is important, you mustn’t let that come at the cost of certain other features which are important to your family’s health.

Consider your family’s age and health situation

Does a family member have a pre-existing health condition or an underlying medical history? If so, you may need to prioritise cover for that condition or illness.

Compare the total coverage on offer

In the decision-making process, make sure you look at the total coverage relevant to each policy. You should always have a clear understanding of what’s included and what isn’t so you can assess how suitable the policy is for you and your loved ones.

Understand your policy's limits

It’s valuable to know the amount of money you’ll be covered for with each inclusion in your policy. While some policies may provide cover for every inclusion, there may be annual limits which could still leave you with out-of-pocket expenses.

Frequently asked questions about family health insurance

What’s the best family health insurance cover option for me?

The best family health insurance cover will depend on your family’s health and financial situation. Every family’s needs will be different, so choosing the best cover for your family will require you to weigh up its coverage against its cost and your family’s health care requirements.

Are my children covered for wisdom tooth removal?

This will depend on the policy you buy and the conditions of that policy. Wisdom tooth removal can be included under your hospital cover, extras cover or perhaps a combination of the two, depending on where the procedure is completed and its complexity. Wisdom teeth removal can get complicated, so talk to your insurer to understand what you're covered for and whether a gap payment may be required.

Can parents be included under my family health insurance?

No – parents can’t be included in your family health insurance. Family health insurance only applies to you, your spouse or partner and your eligible dependent children aged under 21 years (though a few funds extend dependent cover to 31 years).

Are there any tax benefits on a private family health insurance policy?

By taking out hospital, extras or a combined cover, you may be eligible for a rebate from the Australian Government depending on your income. If you earn over the rebate threshold, however, you may not be eligible for a rebate. By taking out appropriate hospital cover for your family, you will avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge of between 1% and 1.5%. It's important to understand the tax implications of health insurance before you buy.

What sort of family health cover should I get if I'm planning on having a baby?

If you’re planning on having a baby and want to have private health cover for the pregnancy and birth, you should look at cover which specifically includes pregnancy. It’s important to take out this cover at least 12 months before your expected birth date, as a 12-month waiting period often applies. If you don’t get insurance in time, you may not be covered in the event of a premature birth.

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Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd (AFS representative number 001279036) of Alternative Media Pty Ltd (AFS License number 486326) to provide readers with a variety of health insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from Compare Club each time a customer buys a health insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via Compare Club.

Savvy’s comparison service is provided by Compare Club. Compare Club compares selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market.

Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.

For any further information on the variety of insurers compared by Compare Club or how their business works, you can read their Financial Services Guide.

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