Health Insurance for Families
insurance is often most important for families, as you not only
have adults to care for, but growing, active, accident-prone
children, for whom you want to provide the best medical
cover. The good news is that regardless of how many children
you have, families still pay the same medical insurance premium as
couples with no kids - so
essentially, all children are covered for free.
Lifetime Health Cover
Lifetime Health Cover affects
only the adults of the family. If there is any age loading applied
to your family health insurance premium, it will be the average of
the two age loadings between the parents. If both of you took out
health insurance before 1 July following your respective 31st
birthdays and have kept some level of hospital cover since then, you
won't need to worry about an age loading. If one or both of you
haven't had continuous cover since that time, you can calculate
your loading with this formula:
[partner 1's age loading] + [partner 2's age loading] / 2 = the
average age loading
Mary has no age loading because she took out health insurance
early in life, but John has an age loading of 10%. The average of
their two loadings is 5%, so they will pay 5% on top of the base
rate premium for their family cover.
Medicare Levy Surcharge for families
The current Medicare Levy Surcharge
threshold for families is $160,000 for the 2011-2012 financial
year. That means if your combined incomes are over $160,000 and you
don't have hospital cover, you'll be charged an extra 1% tax in the
form of the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is on top of the 1%
Medicare Levy that you already pay.
This threshold is indexed, and will adjust each financial
For families with more than one child, the threshold rises by
$1,500 for each child after the first.
You can avoid this extra tax by simply taking out private health
insurance with a hospital cover component.
Dependents, student dependents and extended family cover
Dependents are defined as unmarried children under a certain
age, and all dependent children are covered under your family
health insurance policy up to the age specified by your health fund
(usually between 18-21) at no extra charge.
Student dependents are children above the dependent age who are
studying full time at a recognised educational institution or in a
recognised traineeship or apprenticeship. Health funds will
generally also cover student dependents free of charge until the
age of 25 provided they are not married or in a de facto
relationship and do not earn over a set income threshold.
Extended family cover may be required when your unmarried child
is no longer studying and doesn't fit the criteria for a dependent,
but you still want to cover them under your family health insurance
policy. Many health funds offer extended family cover but they tend
to cost around 25% more than regular family cover.
The benefits of private health insurance for families
The greatest benefit of private health insurance for families
is, knowing that all members of your family are covered for medical
mishaps that may arise in life. Not only that, but some health
funds throw in extra services for families like free dental
checkups for the kids (with no gap) and no excess or co-payments
when children are admitted to hospital. Check with your health fund
for more details.
Start comparing family health insurance now and find the plan
that suits you and your family.
These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.
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