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For many young Australians, private health insurance is something they do not have the need or money for. Hence, a lot of us just tend to leech off our parents’ health insurance until we’re kicked off. Some good news in that respect is that the age of dependants on private health cover has recently been raised by the Australian government.

What is the age limit of dependants on private health insurance?

In June 2021, the Private Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (Age of Dependants) Act was passed in parliament. This allows health funds to raise the maximum age of dependants from 24 to 31 years of age. The age limit for dependants with a disability has been removed entirely.

The amendment has been made in an effort to encourage more young Australians to take up private health insurance until they turn 31, at which point the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) begins.

It is not mandatory for private health funds to raise the age of dependants on their policies, but many companies are taking up this change.

Despite being passed over a year ago, many funds are still in the process of implementing this new policy, and we’re starting to see the option become more readily available now.

Are you eligible?

This is great and all, but how do you know if you’re eligible as a dependant? Health funds classify dependants into six different types, which are outlined below:

  1. Dependant child (0-17 years old and does not have a partner)
  2. Dependant student (18-31 years old, does not have a partner, is receiving a full-time education and as defined in the rules of their private health insurer)
  3. Dependant non-student (18-31 years old, does not have a partner, is not receiving a full-time education and as defined in the rules of their private health insurer)
  4. Conditional dependant non-student (a dependant non-student that has their own general treatment policy with the same insurer covering them for hospital cover)
  5. Non-classified dependant person (18-24 years old, does not have a partner, is not a dependent student or non-student by the rules of their private health insurer)
  6. Dependant person with a disability (18 years old and over, may have a partner and is a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme or is a ‘person with a disability’ as defined by the rules of their private health insurer).

Which private health funds have raised the age of dependants?

Some of the health insurers who have raised the age of dependants in line with this bill include:

  • AHM
  • ACA
  • Bupa
  • Doctors
  • HCF
  • Health Care Insurance
  • Latrobe
  • Medibank
  • Queensland Country Health Fund
  • Railway and Transport Health Fund
  • Teachers Health
  • TUH
  • Westfund

If you are rejoining your health fund after having left, there may be an additional fee or a waiting period. Check with your health insurer to get the full terms and conditions.

Sticking with your parent’s private health insurance (if they have one) can save you all thousands of dollars in the long run, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re eligible.

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