Health Insurance For Singles: A Cheat Sheet

As a single person you will likely have different health insurance needs to a couple or single parent, so it can be worthwhile considering a singles policy tailored specifically to your stage of life, general health, income and preferences.

Here we cover some options available to you, as well as some tips to be aware of as a single person seeking health insurance cover.

The tables below display snapshots of 5-Star singles health insurance policies with links to providers’ websites, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). The Star Ratings and products listed below are based on single men and women under 35 in New South Wales. 

Singles health insurance – hospital & extras

Singles health insurance – hospital

Singles health insurance – extras

For a look at health insurance policies specifically tailored to your circumstances, visit our health insurance comparison table:

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What is singles health insurance?

Singles health insurance is a health insurance policy for a sole individual. It differs from family and couples health insurance, which are taken out by more than one person and as such cover multiple people.

While a couples or family policy provides the benefit of having the one policy for multiple members, a singles policy can be chosen based on one individual’s specific needs.

What does singles health insurance cost?

Canstar’s Health Insurance Research from 2017 shows in most cases, families and couples can pay up to twice as much as single customers, but this is not unexpected – couples and family policies are covering at least twice as many people.

Our Health Insurance Star Ratings from 2017 shows the following average figures for singles hospital & extras premiums at various different life stages:

2017 Health Insurance Premiums – Hospital and Extras Packages

Young Singles – Female (<35) $2,097 $1,411 $2,105 $2,013 $2,023 $2,181 $1,985
Young Singles – Male (<35) $2,097 $1,411 $2,105 $2,013 $2,023 $2,181 $1,985
Young Single Parents – Non Obstetrics (<35) $3,863 $2,589 $3,816 $3,626 $3,774 $4,015 $3,727
Established Singles – Female (36-59) $2,363 $1,638 $2,403 $2,271 $2,286 $2,454 $2,260
Established Singles – Male (36-59) $2,363 $1,638 $2,403 $2,271 $2,286 $2,454 $2,260
Established Single Parent (36-59) $4,186 $2,879 $4,191 $3,931 $4,099 $4,373 $4,041
Mature Singles (60+) $2,587 $1,851 $2,609 $2,465 $2,522 $2,644 $2,479
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. “Established” profile only includes products that include cover for cardiac.

Please note that these are average figures – the cost of private health insurance to you as an individual will depend on the fund you choose, the policy you select and the state you live in. Health insurance premiums also rise every year as the cost of medical treatment increases in conjunction with factors such as our ageing population, so this is something to keep in mind.

For updated figures on health insurance premiums, watch this space for our 2018 Health Insurance Star Ratings.

Be mindful of cheaper policies

In order to ‘help’ younger customers get around health cover loading and the Medicare levy surcharge, some providers offer low-cost, low-cover policies. However, these policies can sometimes miss important levels of coverage, such as private hospital treatments for cancer or heart disease as well as mental illness-related incidents. Those elements they do cover can have restrictive terms and conditions too, so make sure you read the Product Disclosure Statement closely before you commit to a policy.

Should you get health insurance as a young single?

This is for you to decide, but it’s worth considering some of the benefits of going private over public.

For example, with a private health insurance policy, you may be able to:

  • Skip hospital waiting lists and get a private room
  • Select a doctor or surgeon of your choice
  • Claim rebates on some non-Medicare covered services (such as dental operations)

There may be other financial incentives to getting private health insurance too. These benefits mainly include:

  • Not paying lifetime health cover loading: you are charged an extra 2% on your premiums per year every year if you don’t take out private health cover before you turn 31. This can add up to a total surcharge of 70% by the time you reach 65
  • Not paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge: a tiered charge applied to Australian taxpayers who earn above a certain income that don’t have private health insurance
  • Policy discounts: from 2019 young Australians who sign up for a policy will be eligible for a discount of 2% for every year before they turn 30, up to a maximum discount of 10%
  • Government rebates: you might be given a rebate for having private health insurance if you earn less than a certain threshold amount

Health insurance can also give you peace of mind, knowing you might not be thousands of dollars out of pocket if something unforeseen happens and may avoid lengthy waits for elective surgery. While it can be costly, given the strength of our public health system (particularly when it comes to emergency scenarios, low-risk procedures and situations where no waiting periods apply), it is a decision worth close consideration.

How to look for value when seeking singles health insurance

As well as thinking about your life stage, you might also want to consider:

  • What level of health insurance do you want?
  • Do you want extras cover? Do you need it?
  • Do you have any pre-existing conditions insurers need to be aware of?
  • What’s your budget for premiums?

We’d also encourage you not to choose a policy based on price alone. Cheaper policies might be tempting, but their level of cover can be less thorough and considerable exclusions and restrictions can apply. If you feel like you’re not getting good value for money, why not shop around and think about switching to a policy that works harder for you.

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