Single Parent Health Insurance

 Compare quotes for single parent health insurance through Savvy. 

Written by 
Savvy Editorial Team
Savvy's content writing team are professionals with a wide and diverse range of industry experience and topic knowledge. We write across a broad spectrum of finance-related topics to provide our readers with informative resources to help them learn more about a certain area or enable them to decide on which product is best for their needs with careful comparison. Meet the team behind the operation here. Visit our authors page to meet Savvy's expert writing team, committed to delivering informative and engaging content to help you make informed financial decisions.
Our authors
, updated on July 6th, 2023       

Fact checked

At Savvy, we are committed to providing accurate information. Our content undergoes a rigorous process of fact-checking before it is published. Learn more about our editorial policy.

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

Life as a sole provider for your family isn’t always easy, which is why it’s so important to get the best value possible for your health insurance dollar. For this reason, it’s crucial to compare health insurance policies side-by-side before you buy, which you can do right here through Savvy.

We help make the comparison process simple by providing a range of health insurance quotes based on your profile free of charge. The process to get your quote is quick and easy. Just answer a few questions about your health insurance needs and you can have policies from leading insurers to compare in one place, so get your health insurance sorted out with Savvy today.

What is single parent health insurance and how does it work?

Single parent health insurance is private health insurance that offers cover for one adult plus children or dependents. The treatment areas covered are the same as those offered by a standard singles or family health policy. However, a single parent policy can potentially be cheaper than a family health policy (as it offers coverage for only one adult, rather than a couple). The cost of your policy will ultimately depend on the type and level of policy you choose to buy, as well as the insurer you choose.

Since the insurance policies offered by health funds differ, the definition of who a dependent is also varies. Some health insurers will allow young people who remain living at home to stay on their parent’s policy until the age of 21, while others allow full-time students to remain on their parent’s policy up to the age of 25, or even 31 in some circumstances.

Comparing a range of health insurance policies through Savvy will help give you a clearer idea about what health cover is available for single parents. There’s a great deal of choice when it comes to health insurance available in Australia, so start comparing policies to find your ideal health cover through Savvy today.

What cover does single parent health insurance offer?

In Australia, health insurance is strictly regulated, with the government legislating the level of cover which must be provided by health funds. This ensures the public can compare health insurance policies on a like-for-like basis, to find either the cheapest or the best value policy on offer.

There are two basic types of single parent health policies available:

  • Hospital cover – can include cover for the costs involved in treatment while a patient is admitted to hospital
  • Extras Cover – can include cover for many other forms of health services and treatments which aren’t usually covered by Medicare and are provided in an out-of-hospital setting

Single parent hospital cover

A hospital cover policy will enable you and your eligible children to be treated as private patients in either a private or public hospital, depending on the level of cover chosen. There are four tiers of cover available, ranging from a basic policy offering minimal coverage for a hospital stay, right up to a gold policy that covers all available health treatment categories. As the tier of the policy increases, and the level of health coverage increases, so too does the price of the policy.

The different levels of hospital health cover available for single parents are:

  • Basic – the cheapest tier of insurance available, which only offers cover for very limited areas, such as psychiatric services, rehabilitation and palliative care
  • Bronze – in addition to the basic cover described above, this tier offers coverage for an additional 18 clinical categories of treatment
  • Silver – offers coverage for a further 29 clinical categories, but may exclude top-level expensive areas of cover such as pregnancy and birth, joint replacements and weight loss surgery.
  • Gold – the ultimate hospital package offering top-level coverage for all clinical categories. A gold policy will also be the most expensive type of cover available.

In addition to these tiers of health insurance, many health funds offer policies which offer a little bit more than the minimum coverage required by law. These are often called ‘plus’ policies. For example, a Silver Plus policy may offer the coverage required for a silver tier policy but may add pregnancy and birth cover, which is usually only offered with a gold policy.

What does a hospital cover policy offer?

These are the areas which are usually covered by a hospital cover policy while you are a hospital in-patient:

  • Costs associated with admittance to a private and/or public hospital, such as admission fees, room fees, theatre fees (depending on the level of cover chosen)
  • The cost of consultations and treatment by doctors, anaesthetists and other medical specialists
  • Any additional costs associated with surgery
  • Cost of tests administered while you are admitted, such as MRI and CT scans, x-rays and blood tests
  • Cost of allied and supporting health services such as pain management or psychological services
  • Ambulance transport to hospital*

*Not included with all hospital insurance policies. Ambulance cover differs between states and territories, with some states in Australia offering residents free cover either within their state or nationally.

Extras Cover

The insurance coverage offered by an extras policy will also vary depending on the cost of the policy, with the cheapest policies offering the least cover. However, such extras policies are less strictly regulated than hospital cover tiers, so there are no clearly defined measurable levels of cover that have to be provided by law.

Extras cover (which is also known as general or ancillary cover), provides rebates for the cost of many different treatments and services, which can include:

  • Optical services – if you or your children require an eye test, contact lenses or glasses 
  • General dental – which includes basic check-ups, scale and clean treatments and basic fillings  
  • Major dental – typically only covered in more comprehensive extras policies, this can include extractions, root canal work, endodontics, dentures and sometimes cosmetic procedures 
  • Orthodontics – which can be vital for children, including treatments such as braces, aligners and teeth straightening treatments
  • Physiotherapy – can be useful if your kids play contact sports  
  • Chiropractic – vital if you or your children suffer a back injury
  • Psychology – which can include group therapy and other counselling services to help your mental health 
  • Remedial massage – massage therapy to assist with pain relief or to aid healing 
  • Non-PBS medications – if you or your children regularly require non-PBS medications, this cover could save you plenty of money
  • Speech therapy – assistance with speech and language therapy 
  • Hearing aids – extras cover can help cover the costs of testing for hearing loss and providing hearing aids  
  • Podiatry – assistance with foot or ankle pain 
  • Dietetics – including cover for dieting, weight loss and nutrition services 
  • Travel vaccinations – if you’re planning an overseas holiday, you can get partial cover for your required holiday vaccinations

Combined hospital and extras policies are also available for single mums and parents. This offers hospital cover and extras cover bundled together into one insurance package. It may be cheaper than taking out two separate policies.  

If you’re looking for the best policy as a single parent, it’s important to compare policies carefully to find a package that offers the greatest coverage for the least cost.  

How do I compare health insurance policies for single parents?

When comparing health insurance policies, first decide if you want a hospital cover policy or extras cover (or a combined policy). From there, consider the following:

  • What are your family’s health needs? Make sure you look for a policy which includes as much cover as you need for yourself and your children
  • What level of cover do you need? When deciding whether hospital or extras cover is worth it, consider how much you could be up for if you don’t have private health insurance and you or your child suddenly need expensive treatment not offered by Medicare
  • What can you afford? Consider the amount you can realistically put towards your insurance premiums each week or month. Also, think about the additional costs you may have to pay if you don’t have health insurance, such as the Medicare Levy Surcharge
  • Excess and co-payments – an excess is the amount you have to pay if you do make a claim on your hospital cover policy. It can range from zero up to $750. The higher the excess you choose, the less expensive the health cover policy will be. The same applies to co-payments, which are an amount you may have to contribute for each day of your hospital stay
  • Waiting periods – all hospital policies come with initial waiting periods, which can range from two months up to a year. However, if this is your first health insurance policy as a single parent, you may look for initial special offers which have no waiting periods, particularly on extras policies

Types of health insurance

Why compare health insurance through Savvy?

Frequently asked questions about single parent health insurance

What is the minimum health insurance I need as a single parent to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

The minimum insurance you need to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge is a hospital cover policy with a maximum excess of $750. However, the surcharge only kicks in for Aussies earning over $90,000p.a., so if your income is less than this, you won’t have to pay the surcharge. 

If my child needs hospital treatment, will I have to pay a hospital excess as a single parent?

This will depend on the policy that you buy and your insurer. However, some funds (particularly not-for-profit health funds) can waive excess fees for children of single parents who have to be admitted to hospital. Speak to your insurer if you’re unsure about whether you’ll have to pay an excess in this situation. 

How many children can I add to my single parent health policy?

There is no limit on the number of eligible children on a single parent policy.

Are overseas students studying in Australia able to get single parent health cover?

Overseas students studying in Australia may be able to access cover as a single parent. This could be provided either by Overseas Student Health Cover or Overseas Visitors Health Cover. It is also possible to get health insurance just for a child, which may also be an option for those who give birth as a single parent whilst studying in Australia.  

Helpful health insurance guides

Health Insurance Banner - Nurse sitting at the front desk at a hospital taking a patient's card

Private Health Insurance Tiers

Compare different tiers of private hospital insurance and find out what each of them covers with Savvy today. The Australian...

Health Insurance Banner - A young woman receiving a neck and back massage from a physio

Health Insurance Claim

Find out about the process of making a health insurance claim and how it works through Savvy.  There are multiple...

Looking for health insurance to cover your condition or treatment?

Read one of our helpful guides on a range of different ailments and potential hospital or extras treatments to help you find out if they're covered.


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.