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Singles health insurance can offer vital help with the cost of your healthcare treatments. However, finding the right private health insurance policy isn’t always easy, with hundreds of different policies and various levels of cover available in Australia.
By comparing with Savvy, you can gain access to a range of free quotes for health insurance in one place. Simply fill out an easy online form about yourself and the insurance you’re after and you’ll be able to see which of our panel of leading insurers can offer the cover you’re looking for. Start your journey with Savvy today with a no-obligation quote.
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 designed for two or more people).
In terms of how it works, private health insurance for singles can help you cover the cost of treatments, care and services which aren’t included under Medicare. Depending on the nature of the expense and the type of policy you purchase, your singles health insurance may cover part or all of certain costs included under your policy.
What does singles health insurance cover?
The inclusions in 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 information documents so you can have a better idea of what you’re covered for and what’s excluded.
Generally, hospital policies will cover you for hospital or inpatient medical services featured in the Medicare Benefits Schedule and can enable you to be treated as a private patient (subject to availability, terms and conditions). You can choose between basic, bronze, silver and gold cover, with basic being the cheapest and offering the least covered treatments and gold offering top cover for all clinical categories at the highest price. Inclusions under a singles health insurance hospital policy can include:
- Hospital admission as a private patient – this can either be in a private or public hospital, depending on the level of cover chosen. In addition, you may be able to get accommodation in a private hospital room (subject to availability and conditions).
- Cover for the cost of surgeries and procedures – which could include heart surgery, lung surgery, chest surgery, joint replacements, joint reconstructions, dental surgeries, back surgery and colonoscopies.
- Doctors’ fees, anaesthetists’ fees and theatre fees – plus other charges that may apply to your stay in hospital.
- Tests and examinations – may include blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, CAT scans and pathology which are performed while you are an in-patient in hospital.
- Certain allied health services in a private or public hospital – such as psychologists and psychiatrists.
- Ambulance cover – however, not all hospital cover policies will include this and some states and territories can offer a level of free cover to their residents (check what the situation is where you live).
Extras cover inclusions have a particular focus on preventative care and treatments outside a hospital setting. These can include:
- Optical – can include cover for glasses, contact lenses or even laser eye surgery on some extras policies.
- General and major dental – partial or full cover for check-ups, crowns, root canals, implants, general or wisdom tooth removal.
- Orthodontics – cover for braces, retainers, mouth guards and jaw realignment processes
- Physiotherapy – cover for treatment for joint and muscle pain
- Chiropractic treatment – for neck and back pain and other musculoskeletal issues
- Podiatry – for foot and ankle pain and walking issues
- Psychology – for assistance with mental health issues
- Speech therapy – for assistance with speech and language problems
- Acupuncture – treatment with needles to relieve pain
- Massage therapy – to aid healing and relieve pain
- Hearing aids – tests and hearing devices to treat hearing loss
What isn’t covered?
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. However, some of the common exclusions for hospital and extras cover include:
- X-rays, CT scans, blood tests and MRIs performed on outpatients
- Procedures which aren’t medically necessary (such as cosmetic surgery)
- Laser eye surgery
- Certain alternative medicines and therapies
To gain a greater understanding 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 your insurer’s product information documents (PDS).
How much does singles health insurance cost?
The cost of your singles health insurance will be determined by a range of factors, including the following:
- The type of insurance – your choice of hospital cover, extras cover or combined cover will be a major 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 may be available for 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, whether you opt for a cheaper, more basic extras policy or a more expensive and comprehensive one will make a difference to your hip pocket.
- Your policy’s excess and co-payments – when taking out singles hospital insurance, you may be able to choose your excess and co-payment amounts. You can opt to pay a higher premium to have a low excess and low co-payment. On the other hand, if you wish to pay a higher excess or co-payment in the event of injury or a hospital stay, your premiums may be lower. Check with different insurers to determine what your options may be (and whether you have to pay an excess or co-payment at all).
- Your age – you may qualify for discounts on your hospital insurance policy if you’re younger, as some insurers offer up to 10% off for those between 18 and 29 (2% for every year before you turn 30). This discount can follow you through until becoming gradually phased out when you reach 41, so it can save a substantial amount to take out insurance earlier.
Types of health insurance
This can help you pay for medical treatment if you need to be admitted to hospital. It can help cover the cost of your admission or accommodation and the fees charged by doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists. It can also cover other costs associated with a stay in a private hospital.
This helps cover the costs of health care treatments outside a hospital setting which aren’t covered by Medicare. This can include major and minor dental treatment, orthodontics, hearing aids, physiotherapy, glasses, contact lenses and podiatry (in most cases with annual limits).
This is a standard health insurance policy designed for a single person, rather than being tailored to cater to the needs of a couple or family. It may include hospital cover plus extras, or either of these types of insurance on their own, depending on what you're after for your health cover.
A family health insurance policy is designed for a family unit including dependent children who may reach up to 31 years of age with some insurers. It offers private health insurance suitable for the whole family and may include shared limits for all members included in your policy.
A health insurance policy aimed at seniors is designed to appeal to people who are in the second half of their life. These are often specific Silver Plus policies that offer the same cover as other health insurance policies, with the exception that pregnancy and childbirth cover may not be included.
Visitors who are in Australia on a temporary basis for travel, work or study may be able to take out Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). Many visas issued in Australia come with a requirement to take out this type of insurance, which covers visitors who may not be covered by Medicare.
Ambulance cover is generally available either packaged into your private health insurance or on its own as a separate policy or subscription. By having this protection, you could be covered for all eligible ambulance travel in Australia (subject to your insurer's terms and conditions).
The cheapest and most barebones form of private hospital insurance, this can include cover for rehab, in-hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Having this policy will enable you to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading.
Bronze hospital cover is a step up from basic insurance, including 18 further clinical categories such as ear, nose and throat, bone, joint and muscle, digestive system, joint reconstructions, gynaecology and chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer.
Silver hospital cover is the second-most expensive type of policy and offers the second-most clinical categories. On top of what's offered by basic and bronze cover, it also includes heart and vascular system, lung and chest, blood, hearing device implantation and dental surgery.
The highest level of private hospital insurance available in Australia, gold policies can offer cover for pregnancy and birth, weight loss surgery, assisted reproductive services and insulin pumps on top of all the categories provided by silver, bronze and basic hospital insurance.
Why compare health insurance through Savvy?
How do I compare singles health insurance policies?
Figure out the inclusions which matter to you
Starting with your pre-existing health conditions, work out the services which matter the most to you and the type of cover you’ll need to ensure your health needs are covered. Do you want hospital cover, extras cover, or perhaps a combined policy? In addition, consider the level of coverage you’re after, as different levels of hospital cover offer different clinical category inclusions.
The pros and cons of singles health insurance
Peace of mind
Taking out singles health insurance can offer greater peace of mind knowing that, should an injury or illness occur which is included under your policy, you can claim back part or all of the cost of your treatment.
Avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge
By taking out appropriate private hospital insurance, you won’t have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) for the period you have cover. This applies to Australian singles earning over $90,000 annually who do not have a private hospital cover policy for some or all of that financial year. The surcharge can be as high as 1.5%, depending on your income.
Choose your doctor and hospital
With a private hospital insurance policy, you may be able to choose the hospital at which you receive your treatment and the doctor who provides it (subject to availability and other terms and conditions).
Skip public hospital waiting lists
Public hospitals come with waiting lists, but having an appropriate private health insurance policy may enable you to receive the treatment you need sooner at a private hospital.
Not everything is covered
Depending on the type and level of health insurance chosen, there can be numerous exclusions in a policy which result in having to pay the full cost of the excluded treatment. There may also be additional out-of-pocket costs due to your policy not covering 100% of your treatment or service’s cost.
Health insurance policies which offer the most comprehensive coverage aren’t cheap, which may be especially highlighted if you haven’t needed to make a claim for a long time.
Subject to waiting periods
When you first take out private health insurance, you’ll generally be required to sit through a waiting period. Contact your insurer or check your product information documents to find out about the waiting periods which may apply.
Frequently asked questions about singles health insurance
Helpful health insurance guides
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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.
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