Health Insurance for Kids: Can You Get it for Free?

‘Free’ health insurance for your children might seem too good to be true, but you’ll often find that health funds allow you to include your kids on your policy at no extra cost.

Health insurance for children?

Most private health insurance funds in Australia tend to charge similar premiums for family health insurance as they do for couple’s health insurance, which implies you can get ‘free’ private health insurance for your children. While this might make a few couples without children a little cranky at the thought of subsidising health insurance for someone else’s children, it puts parents in a good position to afford cover for the whole family.

Some health funds have decided to take their child-friendly offers even further by waiving the hospital excess if your child is admitted to hospital. There are also offers for no-gap dental services at participating dental clinics. Every family is different though, so you will have to adjust your extras to suit your family’s health needs.

Compare hospital and extras cover for families

The table below displays a snapshot of hospital and extras health insurance policies on Canstar’s database, with links to providers’ websites. The products displayed are based on a family in NSW with no pregnancy coverage. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest-lowest) then by provider name (alphabetically).

Kids health insurance: what to look out for

Is there anything in the fine print you should know about?

  • Insurers generally define a dependent child as “an unmarried person under the age of 18 years”. Individual health funds can, however, extend that age limit for dependent children up to age 25 providing the child is still a full-time student and remains unmarried.
  • If you’re a couple thinking about having your first child, you should be aware a 12-month waiting period usually has to be served before benefits can be claimed on behalf of the child.
  • Check you are covered for pregnancy if you are planning to have a baby. It’s very important to modify your health insurance cover before you start trying to conceive.
  • Check with your policy to see there are no-gap extras benefits for your children, such as dental checkups, x-rays etc.
  • Make sure you have extras cover that suits your family’s needs and is specific to your medical requirements.

Do I need extras cover for kids health insurance?

Extras cover may be a good idea for your family’s everyday health needs such as dental work or eye check-ups. It will help pay for the treatments that Medicare will not cover. Each health insurance fund has different offers so here are a few questions to ask when shopping around for hospital and extras cover:

  1. At what age will my kids no longer be covered by our family health insurance? Are there any conditions?
  2. Do I have to pay any excess if my child is admitted to a hospital?
  3. Are there any no-gap extras benefits for kids?

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