Is Your Parents Health Fund The Right Choice For You?
Ben Thomas,
Customer Experience Manager
Health Insurance Expert, who’d sign up for that job title? Ben Thomas did in 2008 and hasn’t looked back.

First time searching for private health insurance? If you’re no longer covered under your parents’ policy, here’s what you need to know.


No longer covered under your parents’ health insurance? No worries! Here’s all you need to know.

There’s a lot happening in your early 20’s. Most young Australians are busy balancing a combination of work, study and new living arrangements. Chances are you’re probably also leading an active social life, full of adventure and holidays.

You’ve probably found out – most likely from your parents – that once you turn 25 you may no longer be able to be listed as a dependant on their health insurance policy. Changes to your study, employment or marital status will also impact your status as a dependant after you turn 18.

There are 4 typical classifications which you might fall into:

1. 25 & Graduated – The maximum age for a ‘student dependant’ is 25, where you’re studying full-time and financially reliant on your parents. If you graduate before turning 25, you will no longer be a student dependant.

2. Not studying full-time – If you don’t study full-time, many policies will make you ineligible as a dependent at 18 or 21 years old.

3. Full-time worker – Starting a full-time job means a regular income and most health funds won’t cover you under your parents’ policy.

4. Married & Under 25 – If you’re getting married before you turn 25 then most private health insurers will no longer view as a dependent.

To make things easy, we’ve taken the hassle out of researching and comparing and calling around for your new health insurance. Here are a few Q&As to help you decide what to do next.

What’s important to you right now?

Not everyone wants the premium level of cover when it comes to private health insurance. Many new policy holders may choose just hospital cover or just extras cover. It depends on your lifestyle, what you can afford and how secure you want to feel.

For hospital only cover, there are officially four different levels of hospital cover according to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman: Top Hospital Cover, Medium Hospital Cover, Basic Hospital Cover and Public Hospital Cover. Keep these in mind when you’re shopping around and don’t be fooled by names such as “Gold” or “Ultimate” – they’re just alternatives to “Top”.

Similar to hospital cover, extras cover policies often have a range of fancy names, such as Total, Bronze, or Level 1, but there are three official levels: Comprehensive Cover, Medium Cover and Basic Cover.

Comprehensive extras cover must include cover for general and major dental, endodontic, orthodontic, optical, non-PBS pharmaceuticals, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology. It may also include a range of other covers such as remedial massage, natural therapies and chiropractic.

What’s the difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit health fund?

We’re glad you asked, because this is where a Members Own fund might be attractive to you. As a not-for-profit, we’re here to serve all Australians, not investors or overseas shareholders like the big for-profit insurers. We make it incredibly easy to find and join one of our funds. It’s pretty much why we were created!

Like Jenn, you might even be surprised that there are not-for-profit funds out there.

Jenn talks about her experience with Members Own Health Funds on Vimeo.

Should you stay with your parents’ health provider or switch?

Good question and it’s something that can take a bit of effort to know for sure. We’ve provided some important tips for people looking to get health insurance for the first time. As with any purchase, the more information you have the more confident you’ll feel when it comes time to make a decision.

If a Members Own fund sounds like the sort of health cover you might need for your lifestyle, jump on our online comparison tool today and find a health fund that gives more back.