Health Insurance For Couples

Originally published by TJ Ryan, March 27, 2017

Is a joint couples policy to cover you and your partner worth considering? What does couples health insurance cover, anyway? Canstar explains the ins and outs of couples health insurance.

To get the most out of health insurance for couples, it’s important to choose the cover that best meets your needs and caters to your preferences. Whether you’re a young couple, planning a family, or an older couple, Canstar can help you find a couples health insurance policy to suit your stage of life.

What is couples health insurance?

Couples who are in a registered marriage or de facto relationship are eligible to buy a couples’ health insurance policy. Couples health insurance can provide peace of mind that you will be able to tackle the ups and downs in life.

There is almost no difference in price of premiums between having a couples’ policy or having two singles’ policies (<1% difference across policies on the Canstar database at the time of writing). However, it may make life a little more convenient to have both of you covered under one umbrella.

The table below displays a snapshot of hospital and extras policies for couples, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) then by provider name (alphabetically). The products listed below are based on a couple in NSW with no pregnancy cover and aged between 36 and 59. 

 

What does couples health insurance cover?

Health insurance for couples, like other insurance policies, can include Hospital cover, Hospital and Extras cover, or Extras Only depending on your choice of policy. There is a range of couples policies on offer, with corresponding coverage to suit either young couples that are relatively healthy, those planning a family and needing cover for obstetrics and childbirth, established couples with no kids, or an older couple needing cover for conditions that arise as you age. When making a decision, it’s also important to keep in mind that the unexpected can arise, so consider factoring this in.

Health insurance for young couples

Young couples can benefit from having basic Hospital cover to suit their budget, and they may also benefit from having Extras cover if they need benefits such as optical or dental. To keep the cost of your couples health insurance down, you could think about choosing a policy that only covers what you need at this life stage. For example, if you’re in good health you are unlikely to need gastric banding. Likewise, you may not need pregnancy cover if you aren’t planning on having children in the near future.

Policies designed for planning a family (see below) or those that offer a high level of Hospital cover for joint reconstructions are typically more expensive, and they’re not always necessary until closer to the time you’ll need that cover (keeping in mind relevant waiting periods). For young couples who spend a lot of time at the gym, some health funds offer a discount on gym memberships with participating gyms.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for Hospital and Extras couples health insurance as a young couple, according to the average prices on our database at the time of writing:

State or Territory Annual Premium Price
NSW $4,210
QLD $4,226
VIC $4,380
SA $4,053
WA $3,971
NT $2,827
TAS $4,080
Based on packaged cover policies considered for 2017 Canstar Health Insurance Star Ratings. Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 25.934%. 

Compare Young Couples Health Insurance

Health insurance for planning a family

Couples who are planning a family in the near future should consider cover for pregnancy and birth-related services. This might include cover to see an OB-GYN, prenatal classes and/or antenatal classes, obstetrics (childbirth, midwifery, C-section), and fertility treatments (IVF).

Most health funds have a 12-month waiting period before they allow you to claim benefits for pregnancy cover. So, if you want to take the private birth route at any point in the future, you’ll need to plan ahead well in advance of falling pregnant.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for Hospital and Extras Couples and Family health insurance policies that include obstetrics and pregnancy, according to the average prices on our database at the time of writing:

State or Territory Annual Premium Price
NSW $3,945
QLD $4,003
VIC $4,007
SA $3,869
WA $3,708
NT $2,910
TAS $3,919
Based on packaged cover policies considered for 2017 Canstar Health Insurance Star Ratings. Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 25.934%. 

Compare Pregnancy Health Insurance For Couples

Once baby arrives, you may wish to move onto a Family policy, as your child is usually not covered by your Couples policy (or may be covered for the first month or so after their birth).

Health insurance for established couples

There are a range of policies catering to “established couples” aged between 36 and 59 who may have no need for pregnancy cover.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for Hospital and Extras couples health insurance as an established couple, according to the average prices on our database at the time of writing:

State or Territory Annual Premium Price
NSW $4,699
QLD $4,777
VIC $4,892
SA $4,519
WA $4,481
NT $3,243
TAS $4,559
Based on packaged cover policies considered for 2017 Canstar Health Insurance Star Ratings. Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 25.934%.“Established” profile only includes products that include cover for cardiac.

Compare Established Couples Health Insurance

Health insurance for older couples

After couples on a Family policy have their kids start to pay for their own policies as adults, they enter the wide age bracket known as “mature couples” who may benefit from having a high level of Hospital cover for elective surgeries such as hip or knee reconstruction/replacement surgery. A wide range of Extras cover can also be worth considering, depending on what your policy of choice covers. Included benefits such as dental and optical can become useful, as could things like physiotherapy or chiropractic care.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for Hospital and Extras couples health insurance as a mature couple, according to the average prices on our database at the time of writing:

State or Territory Annual Premium Price
NSW $5,162
QLD $5,213
VIC $5,290
SA $4,937
WA $4,959
NT $3,699
TAS $5,058
Based on packaged cover policies considered for 2017 Canstar Health Insurance Star Ratings. Premiums include Base Tier Australian Government Rebate of 25.934%. “Mature” profile only includes products that include cover for cardiac and hip/knee replacements. 

Compare Mature Couples Health Insurance

Do you need to be married to get couples health insurance?

No. In Australia, the private health insurance system recognises a “couple” as including a:

  • Married couple
  • Registered relationship
  • De facto relationship

There is no minimum time period that a de facto couple must live together before they can be classed as a “couple” and become eligible for couples health insurance. If you get couples health insurance, your private health insurance rebate from the government at tax time will be based on the family income threshold rather than the single income threshold.

Couples health insurance and Lifetime Health Cover loading

If one member in the couple did not have Hospital Cover before they turned 30 years old, Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading will apply to the couple’s policy, making their insurance premium more expensive. The loading of each partner will be averaged out for the couple’s policy, and after  10 years of the couple both continuously holding Hospital Cover (whether in a couples health insurance policy or in two singles policies), the LHC loading will be dropped.

How to find health insurance for couples

If you and your partner have agreed that couples health insurance is the way to go, take the time to compare your options. We compare hundreds of health insurance policies every year so you can easily perform a search based on your needs.

Compare Couples Health Insurance

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