Singles Health Insurance

Considering taking out singles health insurance? Not sure what to look for? Savvy is here to help!

Singles Health Insurance

Singles health insurance is vitally important to protecting your health and wellbeing. Getting the right cover for you at an affordable price can often prove difficult. Find out how to compare your single health insurance options and what to look for in a policy which suits your health and financial situation.

What is singles health insurance and how does it work?

Singles health insurance is designed to be an effective way of insuring the health of individuals. As opposed to taking out family health insurance or couples health insurance (health insurance where the policy is tailored to two or more people), singles health insurance can better fit the specific needs of an individual. Singles health insurance can prove an alternative option to couples’ health insurance as there isn’t a significant price difference, but taking out two individual policies will allow coverage to be tailored to the health needs of each person.

What does singles health insurance cover?

The inclusions of your singles health insurance policy will be dictated by the type of cover you choose – hospital cover, extras cover or combined cover – and the level of coverage you choose. As inclusions will vary, it’s important you read up on your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know what you’re covered for and what’s excluded.

Generally, hospital cover policies will cover you for any hospital or medical services featured in the Medicare Benefits Schedule and allow you to be treated as a private patient in a private hospital. Inclusions under a singles health insurance hospital cover policy can include:

  • Treatment as a private patient – this can be in either a private or public hospital. In addition, you can get accommodation in a private hospital room.
  • Surgeries or procedures – could include heart surgeries, lung surgeries, chest surgeries, joint replacements, joint reconstructions, dental surgeries, back surgery and colonoscopies.
  • Tests and examinations – may include blood tests, eye tests, x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans and pathology.
  • Rehabilitation and allied-health services in a private or public hospital – such as psychologists and psychiatrists. Extras cover inclusions have a particular focus on preventative treatments and services. These include: 
  • Optical – can include cover for glasses, contact lenses or even laser eye surgery on some comprehensive extras policies.
  • General or major dental – cover for check-ups, crowns, a root canal, general tooth removal or wisdom tooth removal.
  • Physiotherapy, chiropractic, podiatry and occupational therapy.
  • Health and medical devices – such as blood pressure monitors and hearing aids.
 

The exclusions under your singles health insurance cover will once again depend on the type of cover you opt for and the level of coverage chosen. If you opt for a basic level of hospital cover, your exclusions can include:

  • Hip and knee replacements.
  • Heart surgeries
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services.
  • Cataract surgery
  • Appointments with obstetricians or specialists outside of hospital.
 

To get a full list of the exclusions tied to your singles health insurance policy, it’s important you contact your insurer directly, check the policy’s terms and conditions and read the PDS.

What different types of singles health insurance are there?

Hospital cover

A singles health insurance hospital cover policy will give you the benefits of being treated as a private patient in either a public or private hospital. Depending on your level of hospital cover, you can be insured for part of, or even all your in-hospital treatments by a doctor of your choice, along with theatre fees for surgery and in-hospital accommodation.

Hospital cover policies come in four different tiers – basic, bronze, silver and gold – with each offering varied levels of coverage.  Ultimately, the cost of your singles health insurance premium will be largely dictated by your choice of tier. Hospital cover inclusions at each tier can include:

Basic Bronze Silver Gold
  • Hospital palliative care
  • Hospital rehabilitation
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • All inclusions under basic coverage.
  • Brain and nervous system.
  • Joint reconstructions.
  • Throat, nose and ear treatments.
  • All inclusions under basic and bronze policies.
  • Dental surgeries.
  • Lung and chest
  • Heart and vascular system.
  • All inclusions under basic, bronze and silver policies.
  • Includes all recognised Medicare hospital services. E.g., joint replacements, cataract and pregnancy or birth-related services.

Extras cover

Extras cover will benefit your health and wellbeing by getting you preventative services and treatments which are out of hospital. Inclusions under an extras policy can include cover for things like physiotherapy, optical, dental, chiropractic and much more.

Each level’s inclusions will vary between insurers. Comprehensive cover will offer you the best coverage, but at the most expensive price.

Extras cover inclusions at each tier may include:

Basic Medium Comprehensive
  • General dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • General and major dental.
  • Endodontics
  • Certain policies may also let you choose a few of the following: orthodontics, optical, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, chiropractic or non-PBS pharmaceuticals.
  • General and major dental
  • Endodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Chiropractic
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals
  • Hearing aids
  • Greater benefit limits e.g., basic cover may have $150 benefit limit on optical per year where as comprehensive may have a $300 benefit limit.

Combined hospital and extras cover

Combined cover will give you the best coverage for your singles health insurance policy and is the best option if it is within your budget. You will be able to get the ultimate protection by taking advantage of the benefits associated with both hospital and extras cover. In addition, it’s possible to mix and match the levels of coverage within a combined cover, e.g., gold hospital cover with a basic extras cover.

What’s the cost of singles health insurance?

The cost of your singles health insurance will be determined by the following factors:

  • The type of insurance – Your choice of hospital cover, extras cover, or combined cover will be a main factor in determining the cost of your singles health insurance. A combined cover policy will tend to be the most expensive option while an extras cover policy will give you the cheapest premium.
  • Level of coverage – in taking out singles health insurance, your choice of a basic, bronze, silver or gold-level policy for hospital cover will contribute to the cost of your premium. In addition, if you opt for extras cover your choice of a basic, medium or comprehensive-level extras cover policy will also contribute to deciding the cost of your singles health insurance premium.
  • Your policy’s excess and co-payments – when taking out singles health insurance you will agree to an excess and co-payment amount with the insurer. You can pay a higher premium to have a low excess and low co-payment. On the contrary, if you wish to pay a high excess or co-payment in the event of injury or a hospital stay, you will have a cheaper premium.
  • Your age – the older you are, the more expensive your premium is bound to be as you will require more cover for a greater list of pre-existing health conditions. In addition, you may seek cover for procedures such as knee or hip replacements which are only covered under higher-level hospital cover policies.
  • Where you live – your location will impact the cost of medical treatments and services at hospitals or GP’s. As a result, this will reflect in the cost of your health insurance premium.

How do I compare the best singles health insurance policies?

Not sure how to get the best singles health insurance for your situation? Follow these steps!

Pros and Cons of singles health insurance

Struggling to decide if you should take out singles health insurance? Here we detail the pros and cons.

PROS

Peace of mind

Taking out singles health insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that should an injury or illness occur, your finances will be covered and you will get the treatment or service you need.

Avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge.

By taking out private health insurance you won’t need to pay the Medicare levy surcharge. The Medicare levy surcharge applies to Australians earning above over $90,000 annually who have not taken out a private hospital cover policy. The surcharge can be as high as 1.5% depending on the individual’s income.

May be eligible for government rebate.

If you take out private health insurance when you earn less than $90,000 annually, you may be eligible for a rebate from the government.

Take a proactive approach to benefiting your health and wellbeing with extras cover.

In taking out extras cover, you can actively take part in preventative treatments and services which will help prevent injury and illness.

CONS

Extensive exclusions

Depending on the type and level of cover chosen, the list of exclusions can often be large. While you may be paying for health insurance, you may find yourself seeking medical treatments or services and still not be covered.

The cost

Despite paying a significant amount of money for your singles health insurance premium, there could still be out-of-pocket costs for any treatments or services you use. Your singles health insurance policy may only cover part of the cost of treatments and services so you will be left to foot the rest of the bill.

Subject to waiting periods

When you take out private health insurance you will still be subject to waiting periods before you can make any claim on your cover. Contact your insurer or check your PDS to find out about waiting periods which apply to you.

Top tips for to remember when taking out singles health insurance

Need help tailoring your singles health insurance cover? Check out these tips!

Only take out extras cover if you will take advantage of it

Unless you’re going to actively make use of your extras cover inclusions, it could be wasted money. Only purchase extras cover with the inclusions you truly need.

Don’t be fooled by basic policies with minimal value

Young people often take out private health insurance purely to avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge. Therefore, insurers will try to get the business of younger people by advertising a basic cover to that demographic. However, basic cover can offer minimal value and not be useful when needed most.

Regularly check your singles health insurance options as better deals might be out there

Once you have purchased your singles health insurance policy, you should continue to be open to changes and search the market for better options. While your policy may have been the right fit at the time, if you regularly explore your options, you will find cheaper premiums or policies with better coverage than what you currently have.

Frequently asked questions about singles health insurance

Still have questions about singles health insurance? Here we answer the most common ones.

If I have a pre-existing medical condition, will my singles health insurance be more expensive?

As health insurance is community rated, your health insurance will not be more expensive if you have a pre-existing medical condition. No insurer can charge you extra because of your health, gender, age or even occupation.

What is Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading?

LHC loading applies to individuals who don’t take out hospital cover before July 1 after they turn 31 years old. If this is you, a two percent increase in your health insurance premiums will apply for each year that you are uncovered. Therefore, if you decide to take out hospital cover at the age of 40, your premium will be 20% higher. This maxes out at 70% and your increased premiums as a result of LHC loading will cease after 10 consecutive years of hospital cover.

 

As a healthy young person, are there any discounts available on singles health insurance?

Certain health funds may offer a discount to you if you’re taking out cover as a new customer and you’re under 30 years old. To get a discount, make sure to ask your insurereligible when choosing your singles health insurance policy.

 

 

Is singles health insurance more expensive as a female or male?

Singles health insurance works differently to life insurance or car insurance as it doesn’t consider gender when calculating the cost of your premium. The only difference in policies due to gender will be the inclusions based on the specific needs relevant to women and men.

Is one couples’ health insurance policy cheaper than two singles policies?

Couples health insurance can often be cheaper than two standalone singles policies as you may be eligible for a better government rebate. However, just because it’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s the better option. Couples will often have different health needs and be required to have cover for a greater range of benefits which results in a more expensive insurance premium. Two singles policies will allow each person to get cover for only the inclusions which matter to them. To find out which option is the cheapest it’s important you shop around and know your options.

Will pregnancy be covered under my singles health insurance?

If you’re expecting to welcome a baby in the near future, you need to take out gold-level hospital cover to get the benefits of any birth-related services. It’s important to note that you must get gold hospital cover at least 12 months prior to giving birth as a 12-month waiting period applies.