A major change to private health insurance policies that could save some families thousands of dollars in premiums has been put in place.
The age limit for dependent children has been raised from 25 to 31 for a handful of Australian health insurers, meaning they can be included in family policies for longer.
Among the health insurers to raise the dependent age limit are Medibank, AHM, BUPA and HCF.
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The changes mean families could potentially save thousands of people.
Those with one child in their late 20s with low-level hospital coverage and extras could save up to $1,010 a year, while those with two or more children in their 20s could save over $3,000. $, say the Compare Club experts.
However, there is a 25% charge for the first adult child added to family health coverage, as a one-time payment.
For Bupa customers, dependents can remain on their family policy until their 32nd birthday, a change that took effect September 1.
Bupa Health Insurance chief executive Chris Carroll said the change would help ensure that more young Australians have better access to private health insurance, while remaining affordable. “The pandemic has caused many young people to reassess what is important to them, and their health and wellbeing have become clear priorities,” Carroll said.
“This policy change will not only have financial benefits for young Australians who are facing increasing cost of living pressures, but it will also help support continued participation in private health – a key factor in keeping it affordable. and accessible for the rest of the community, while relieving our public system which remains under pressure.
Meanwhile, on September 1, the HCF health fund increased the age of adult dependents from 25 to 31.
HCF CEO Sheena Jack said it was important that healthcare remained affordable for families.
“We know that cost of living pressures are increasing for all Australian families and that means typical household dynamics are changing,” Jack said.
“More and more young adults, especially in capital cities, are staying home with their parents to help ease the burden of financial pressures while studying or starting their careers. This rising age is a way to help make health care more affordable for these younger members.”
Medibank and AHM
Medibank and AHM also made the changes, which were signed into law on August 18.
Medibank Group leader Milosh Milisavljevic said the change would ensure more young people stay in private health insurance, as well as help them cope with cost of living pressures.
“We want young clients to stay in private health insurance to ensure they are covered for the unexpected, while alleviating some of the pressure on the public health system,” Milisavljevic said.
This comes as the latest census data revealed that 456,543 people between the ages of 25 and 34 live with their parents, a 17% increase since the previous census (2016).
NIB, Australian Unity, GMHBA and Frank Health Insurance have not yet adopted changes to the age limit for dependent children.