Are you deciding if family health insurance is really worth it? Here’s everything you need to know before you make a decision on your health cover.

Comprehensive family health insurance can provide flexibility, choice, and protection for your loved ones. Whether you’re just starting out as a family or expecting another child, your family’s health will be at the front of your mind. You’ll likely require a range of birth-related specialists both during and after your pregnancy.

Even with basic family insurance coverage you have a right to expect real benefits for your money. In Australia the average health insurance policy costs between between $1000 and $5000 per year, with many families at the upper end of that scale.

So while you might want the very best advice and expertise, you also have budgets to consider.

Regardless of the decision you make, remember that all Australians have access to the public health system for giving birth. So choosing to have your child in a public hospital doesn’t mean you get any less care or specialist treatment.

Every family is at a different stage with unique needs. We’ve covered everything you need to know, no matter where you’re at and what your plans are as you gather your family health insurance quotes.

However, if you’d like to jump right in and see what’s currently available, why not use Member’s Own clever comparison tool before you decide to buy family health insurance?

In a few short minutes will quickly show you a range of options from our not-for-profit health funds to suit your family. Simply mix and match what you need from hospital and / or extras, and then leave out what’s not important.

Members Own Health funds exist to give their members more benefits and better coverage. Our funds are able to do this while investing a higher percentage of your premiums to improve services and keep your family happy.

In fact, over one million Australians and thousands of families are already with one of our not-for-profit or mutual funds.

Why do families take out Private Health Insurance and is it worth it?

Private health cover has the potential to give your family more choice and control with your health needs. By understanding the different types of cover for family health insurance, you can begin to decide what’s important and how much you want to spend.

  • 1. Family Hospital Cover

    Hospital only cover is designed to pay benefits toward the cost of your treatment in hospital. There are only 3 levels of hospital cover available to Australians: top, medium and basic.

    These levels are no different whether you’re taking out cover as a single, couple, senior or family.

    In short, the higher the level of cover you get as a family, the more procedures and specialists you will both be covered for.

    This might be an important factor for when you give birth, as you’ll likely be thinking about where you want to have your baby and the care you want immediately after (such as staying in a hotel).

    When a procedure is “covered”, that means 100% of the cost (minus any excess) of your hospital visit is paid by your health fund.

  • 2. Family Extras Cover

    Depending on how old your kids are, extras cover is the area where you can save the most money while accessing services that provide genuine benefits.

    There are some fantastic policies with very generous benefits for kids dental and optical needs. Plus you and your partner might also need extras services, such as physio, chiro, osteo, remedial massage or naturopathy.

    People often say that extras is the cover you’ll actually use and this is generally true for families.

  • 3. Combined Hospitals & Extras Family Cover

    Taking out hospital and extras cover together for is called combined cover, which is the preferred option for family health insurance. You can decide on different levels of cover for each and then mix and match.

You have to decide what you think you’ll actually need and what you value

There’s no point being covered for things your family will never need or use. For example, after you give birth you won’t want to be paying for certain pregnancy services.

It pays to stay on top of your health insurance and check in every 3 or 6 months to make sure your cover is still tailored for your lifestyle. Many health funds allow you to do this online using your membership number, so it will only take a few minutes.

Now, let’s look at some typical scenarios for families and their health insurance.

You’re planning a family as a couple but not sure exactly when?

Many couples who are considering starting a family will have health forefront in their minds. The comfort and peace of mind you get with private health cover for such an important part of your life can be worth it.

Most health funds will have a 12 month waiting period before they allow you to claim benefits for pregnancy cover, which is regulated by the federal government. This includes specialised services such as:

  • Obstetrics and
    Gynaecology

  • Pregnancy Scans
    and Blood Tests

  • Prenatal and / or
    Antenatal Classes

  • Fertility Treatments
    (IVF)

So, if you want to access the private hospital system for your pregnancy and birth, you’ll need to plan well in advance.

You’re ready to start your family and want to know how and when to take out health cover

Planning to have a child is an incredibly exciting time. It’s also life changing. Your priorities have suddenly changed and managing your health needs during and after pregnancy is now all you’re worried about.

As parents to be, there’s a lot to absorb in a short period. While you’re rearranging your whole life around the new arrival, taking care of your family’s future health is a daily concern.

Firstly, deciding how and where you want to give birth is a very personal decision and everyone is different. It’s possible you’ll think about the following things:

  • location of private hospitals, public hospitals and other services like prenatal classes
  • chatting with your GP and any other medical professionals
  • choosing an obstetrician
  • services you can claim for under Medicare
  • advice and support from friends and family
  • information from parenting books and online resources

On top of of all that, you’ll also review your current health insurance situation.

  • Are you both taking out health cover for the first time?
  • Are you changing from couples cover to family cover?
  • Or are you both on separate singles policies?

While it seems like information overload, most insurers provide information in a clear and helpful way to guide you through your decision making. For new families, it’s common to shop around as you probably have a very firm budget in mind.

Your family is established and you’d like affordable health cover for the years ahead

Whether it was one, two, three or more children, your family is now as big as it’s going to get. This means you might be considering setting up your health insurance for the next 5 or 10 years. Chances are, you’ll want the very best care for your kid’s health needs (while you and your partner take a back seat!).

The information below on hospital and extras cover will help you decide what you need and how it might suit your family.

If one or more of you children are dealing with a specific condition, always enquire how a new health insurer can accommodate these needs, including what type of excess you might have to pay for particular services and what the annual limits are on extras services.

Your kids are older now and your health needs have changed

As your kids become teenagers and begin planning for adulthood, you might also be reviewing your current health insurance policy.

For example, are you paying for things you no longer need? Maybe those dental check-ups are few and far between or there are other extras you’d rather be getting benefits for, or perhaps most of your health needs are covered using the Australian Government’s Medicare system.

Are there health concerns which you’d like to check available cover for? The health of teenagers or young adults can be complex. This could include seeking out professional help for mental health issues or the management of an ongoing physical condition.

It’s possible your relationship status may have changed but you’d still like to have health insurance for your kids. You can check information on single parent health cover.

If you’re comfortable with your current level of cover for your family, remember that the Australian government stipulates that once your kids turning 26 they’ll have to take out their own private health insurance.

Every family deserves health insurance that works for them now and into the future

We understand that not everyone has had a perfect experience with their health insurer, or maybe even with travel insurance or car insurance. This could be anything from poor service, to not getting what they were promised, to some single parents not feeling properly represented.

Members Own believe that health insurance should be there when families need it and should never exploit someone’s ill-health or misfortune.

Given the importance of health to so many Australian families, we’re committed to providing clear, unbiased information and a level of service that is second-to-none in our industry.

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Did you also know our funds are all run as either not-for-profits or mutuals?

Not everyone is aware that not-for-profit or mutual health funds even exist. For some families, this knowledge can be a deal breaker.

The 18 funds that are under the Members Own brand exist to deliver you and your family the best possible service and benefits.

Why is this such a powerful fact?

Because our health funds are here to serve all Australians, not investors or overseas owners like the for-profit insurance companies, like Bupa, Medibank and nib and comparison services like Compare The Market.

Members Own have one of the biggest number of funds and policies to compare, choose and buy from online in Australia. Whether you’re in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA, South Australia or Tasmania, we can find the perfect health cover for you.

We also refuse to promote sponsored products because it’s essential customers are only ever given unbiased results to compare. This is also big news, especially when you consider some of the tactics that other comparison sites use to sell you products. CHOICE released some interesting research about this very thing, which you can read about here.

Here’s an example of what someone who used our service had to say:

“I have used all the comparison platforms and this is the only one I trust. All the other ones seem to only give you the same selection of funds. This one seems to have all the funds and the best deals. Highly recommended.”

Rather than comparing a policy from one provider across numerous websites, why not do it all in one place in around 5 minutes?

What’s next when deciding on family health insurance?

Family health insurance can come in handy for different areas of yours and your kids lives. From access to a wide-range of health services to saving on general dental check-ups to benefits on ambulance cover.

It can guarantee greater peace of mind while ensuring the right medical help is there when you need it.

The great thing is, it only takes a few minutes to see a range of options based on your needs with Members Own. Our super smart comparison tool will guide you through everything and help you understand every policy option.

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If you have any questions about your health insurance needs, Members Own have friendly staff who are all health insurance experts. You can call one of our team on 13 10 66.

As seen on The Morning Show X

Setting the Record Straight

Members Own CEO Troy Sheahan busts some common health insurance myths on The Morning Show