Do you need Singles Health Insurance? Here’s everything you need to know before you make a decision on your health cover.

The last thing most singles want to do is worry about choosing a new health insurance policy. Chances are you’re out enjoying life, soaking up adventures, beginning a new career, or perhaps even saving for a first car or home deposit.

Right now, you might be wondering if private health cover is even worth it. Your mind and body could be feeling great, but perhaps you just want to see what’s available, what you get and how much it costs.

It’s possible you’ve also seen some advertising about choosing private health insurance, which can sometimes be confusing and overwhelming.

You’d really just like the simple facts without all the hype. You’ve probably got a set budget in mind and also an idea of what you think will suit your current needs. So let’s look at everything you need to know to decide if you need health insurance and what you might get with each type of cover.

The Members Own team has put together the following information to ensure you’ll feel confident when the time comes to make a decision about your health insurance needs. If you think you’ve got a pretty good handle on the basics, you can always get started with an online quote right now.

In a few short minutes our comparison tool will show you a range of options from our not-for-profit health funds. Simply mix and match what you need from hospital and extras, and leave out what you don’t.

The Members Own Health funds exist to give their members more benefits and better coverage, while investing a higher percentage of your premiums to improve services and keep you happy. In fact, over one million Australians are already with one of our not-for-profit or mutual funds.

Why do Australians take out Private Health Insurance?

Okay, the basics. Private health cover has the potential to give singles more choice, control and peace of mind with their healthcare. This could be anything from an ambulance trip, to dental or optical benefits, to rehabilitation from an injury, to just having the security there in case you ever need it.

Over 11 million or around 50% of Australians hold some form of private health cover, On average health insurance costs people between $1,000 and up to over $5,000 a year, so it’s natural to expect value in return.

There are also other factors that drive people to get a health insurance policy, such as coming off their parents’ health fund when they turn 26, avoiding Lifetime Health Cover Loading before they turn 31 and also assistance with the government rebate when doing your tax.

Or maybe you’re a little bit older or a single parent, so you’re taking out singles health insurance rather than another policy type, or you just want to have peace of mind for any future hospital treatments.

Don’t forget that even if you decide not to take out health insurance, all Australians have access to the public health system when they need it and the federal government’s Medicare system.

The different types of cover and how to choose the right cover

This is where you can really start to decide what’s important to you with your health and how much you want to budget. There are only 3 possible combinations with your health insurance:

  • Hospital only cover

  • Extras only cover

  • Combined hospital
    and extras cover

Hospital Only 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 hospital, medium hospital and basic hospital.

You might see different names for these when doing your research, such as ‘platinum’, ‘gold’, ‘saver’ or ‘budget’. These are just different names for those 3 levels. In short, the higher the level of cover, the more procedures you will be covered for.

Hospital cover also also means you can avoid long public hospital waiting lists by being treated in private hospital. That way you have the freedom to decide:

  • Who you are treated by:

    some people might want a surgeon recommended by their doctor, family or friend

  • Where you are treated:

    access to a private hospital close to home and a more comfortable environment can reduce worry

  • When you are treated:

    on average, waiting times are usually shorter in the private system so you don’t have to live with discomfort for as long.

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

Extras Only Cover

Extras cover reduces the cost of treatment for things that Medicare doesn’t cover. You’ve probably seen a bunch of TV ads promoting extras, but here are the specifics.

Extras are there for non-GP (General Practitioner) services, such as:

  • General Dental

  • Major Dental

  • Optical

  • Physiotherapy

  • Remedial Massage

  • Chiropractic

  • Osteopathy

  • Naturopathy

Remember, waiting periods for major dental work is 12 months and for general dental it’s 2 months. Most other extras services listed above will also have a 2 month waiting period before you can access benefits for them.

Depending on your current lifestyle, extras cover is the area where you can save the most money while accessing healthcare services that provide awesome benefits. Who doesn’t love a new pair of designer glasses or a relaxing remedial massage or even benefits toward a gym membership?

Health funds contribute to your overall costs when using extras services in one of two ways:

  • as a percentage proportion of the fee charged by the provider. For example, 65% back for a general dental consultation
  • as a fixed dollar per visit. For example, $40 per Chiro visit.

When checking a new extras policy, always look at what the total annual limit is on your cover. This is the maximum amount you will be allowed to claim for certain extras services. Once you go over an annual limit for a particular service or treatment, your fund will no longer contribute to it - meaning you will pay the full cost.

If you’re unsure or just want to clarify a specific detail about extras only cover, call a health insurer directly and get an expert to talk you through what you really get.

Combined Hospitals & Extras Cover

Taking out hospital and extras cover is called combined cover. You can mix and match between different levels of cover for each. So you might only want basic hospital cover but you think you’ll benefit from comprehensive extras. Or it could be you’d like a balance, so you might choose medium for both hospital and extras.

It all depends what you think is important for you and what you think you’ll actually need. There’s no point being covered for things like pregnancy, knee replacements or heart replacements if these aren’t relevant to you.

While that all sounds like common sense, you’d be surprised how many Aussies are covered for things they’ll never use and don’t even know they’re paying for!

Understanding how hospital waiting periods work is also an important factor when deciding to take out health insurance

Waiting periods are designed to prevent people from claiming immediately after joining a health insurer and then cancelling their policy once they’ve received treatment.

This kind of “hit-and-run” behaviour would very quickly drive up health premiums and negatively affect customers across Australia.

It’s good to understand “pre-existing conditions” with hospital cover so you don’t waste time and money taking out a new policy, only to find you won’t be covered for a current condition.

A pre-existing condition is classified as any ailment, illness, or condition that you had signs or symptoms of during the 6 months before you joined a hospital table or upgraded to a higher hospital table.

If you decide to take out health insurance, your new fund will need time to advise you if your condition is pre-existing. Always check well before you go into hospital to ensure you’re covered.

Pre-existing conditions have a 12 month waiting period for health insurers. The Australian Government has published an overview of this which you can download here.

Are there any negatives to taking out private health insurance?

As with any financial decision, there are always risks and it’s possible you might not get exactly what you were promised. There are examples of poor behaviour by some health insurers and sadly it’s customers who lose out at the expense of a company turning a buck.

Instances of customers not getting what they were entitled to or policies being deliberately vague can come at an especially vulnerable time. People could be dealing with an existing condition or needing emergency surgery, yet they discover they’re not covered or the costs are way more than what they thought.

This might have even happened to you with a previous insurer, which is why you’re here now trying to work out what’s the best course of action.

Members Own strongly believe that health insurance should be there when people need it and it should never exploit someone’s ill-health or misfortune. Our team are incredibly passionate about giving people the right information, always being transparent and providing health cover with a heart.

That’s why you’ll always be a member, not a number, if you choose to go with one of our health funds.

Talk with friends, family or colleagues about their experiences with private health insurance

Nothing beats good old fashioned advice from someone you trust. It can save you time and also give you an idea of what to expect. Because if you’re taking out single health insurance for the first time, it can be confusing and it’s possible you’ll just keep delaying it.

Unlike purchasing a new phone, laptop or clothes, buying a “junk health policy” could not only leave you out of pocket but it could also impact your health in negative ways.

Unfortunately, this does happen to people. Those who had the best intentions with their health insurance but perhaps didn’t fully understand what was being sold to them. Or maybe they were told something over the phone or from watching an ad, but in reality their policy wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

So doing that little bit of extra background research can help guide you in your decision making and ensure you don’t end up with crappy cover.

Compare health insurance now and get a quote


Select your level of cover

Did you know there are many not-for-profit health funds that are perfect for singles

Not everyone knows that not-for-profit health funds even exist. And those that do sometimes think they won’t qualify for them, which isn’t true at all!

The 20 funds that are under the Members Own brand exist solely to deliver you the best possible service and benefits.

Why does this matter?

Because our health funds are here to serve all Australians, not investors or overseas owners like the for-profit insurance companies.

Given the amount of coverage that the for-profit insurers like Bupa, Medibank and nib get, plus other comparison services like iSelect, you’d be forgiven for thinking there are different options out there.

But the truth is, Members Own have one of the biggest number of funds and policies to compare, choose and buy from online in Australia.

As a single, being spoilt for choice means you can quickly and easily find a policy that gives you better value and suits your lifestyle. If you’re looking to switch health insurers, we can help you with that too!

Rather than spending so much time comparing a policy from one provider across heaps of websites, why not do it all in one place?

What’s next when deciding on singles health insurance?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need private health cover and you could put more of your dollars towards having ora few monthly dinners out or saving for your next holiday.

But health cover can come in handy when you least expect it, even if you feel like your health is 100% today. Many singles with health insurance enjoy benefits on things that actually improve their overall wellbeing. This could be access to psychology sessions or a personalised diet from a naturopath.

The great thing is, it only takes a few minutes to see a range of options based on your needs. Our clever comparison tool will guide you through everything and help you make sense of your new policy.

Compare & Join

If you have any questions or queries with your single health insurance, we 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