Best health insurance for single parents


Compare single-parent family health insurance offers from Medibank, BUPA, HCF, HBF, NIB and more.

mother and child playing on a bed

Raw deal for single parents


Single parents are unfairly treated by health insurance providers in ways that don't make a lot of sense. While two-parent families pay the same premiums as couples (and their kids are insured for free), single parents are charged extra for their children's heath cover.

At the same time, single parents' health insurance premiums are higher than singles without kids, and some funds even charge single parents the same premium as two-parent families. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Aside from premiums, though, insurers do give special treatment to kids whether you're a single or a two-parent family, including:

  • no excess or co-payments for children if they need to go to hospital
  • free extras services for children – if they go to the dentist, for example
  • students can stay insured on the family and single parent policy for free.

Read more about health insurance perks for children, in The best health insurance for families.

Best health funds for single parents

Since April 2007, health insurance funds have been able to give single parents a reduced premium compared to the family rate. Before that time health insurance regulation meant that single parents always paid the same premium as two-parent families. So single parents generally don't pay as much as they used to these days, but they still pay more than singles.

Not all health funds are on board – see our list below of health funds with no discount for single parents. And for the funds that do offer lower premiums to single parents, the amount can vary. One fund may offer a 10% and another a 30% discount off the family premiums. Health funds may also offer single parents lower premiums for hospital cover but not extras cover.

  • Tip: if you've been a loyal customer and stayed with the same fund and policy for the last ten years or more, you may be stuck in the old system. Check with your insurer, as they may restrict lower single parents' premiums to policies released after 2007 or to selected policies only.

The health funds listed below offer single parents cheaper premiums than for two-parent families, for at least some of their policies.

Open fund policies with cheaper premiums for single parents
Open fund Hospital Extras Combined
AHM Yes Yes Yes
Australian Unity No No No
Bupa Yes No Yes
CBHS Corporate Health Yes Yes na
CDH Benefits Fund No No No
CUA Health Yes No na
GMHBA Yes No Yes
HBF Yes No Yes
HCF Yes Yes Yes
Health Care Insurance Yes Yes Yes
HIF No No na
Health Partners Yes Yes Yes
Health.com.au Yes No Yes
Latrobe Health Services No No No
Medibank Yes No Yes
Mildura Health Fund Yes No na
NIB Yes Yes na
Peoplecare Yes No Yes
Phoenix Health Fund Yes No Yes
Queensland Country Health Fund Yes No Yes
St.LukesHealth No No No
Transport Health Yes Yes Yes
Westfund Yes No Yes

Restricted fund policies with cheaper premiums for single parents
Restricted fund Hospital Extras Combined
ACA Health Yes No Yes
CBHS Health Yes Yes Yes
Defence Health Yes Yes Yes
Doctors' Health Yes Yes Yes
Emergency Services Health Yes No Yes
Navy Health Yes Yes Yes
Nurses & Midwives Health Yes Yes No
Police Health Yes No Yes
RT Health Fund Yes No Yes
Teachers Health & UniHealth Yes Yes Yes
TUH Health Yes Yes Yes

Notes:

  • 'Yes' means that the fund charges single parents less than two parent policies for some or all of the policies in this category. The discount could vary from policy to policy. Please check with the fund.
  • na means that the fund does not offer combined policies.

No discounts

These health funds charge single parents the same as two-parent families for all of their policies:

  • Australian Unity
  • CDH Benefits Fund
  • HIF
  • Latrobe Health Services
  • St.LukesHealth

Check what's included

Discounts aren't everything. Some funds which charge single parents the same as families may offer cheaper and better value–for-money policies than other funds that do offer a discount. Use our health insurance comparison tool to see which policies are best for your situation and needs.

Done having kids?

If you've finished having children, you may be considering downgrading to cover without pregnancy and fertility cover – but this isn't as simple a decision as it might seem. In principle it makes sense not to pay for cover you won't be using, but very few policies exclude pregnancy and fertility services without excluding things you may still need, and those that do are often only a few dollars cheaper than full cover policies. Some are even more expensive than policies that cover everything.

There's another pitfall: policies that restrict or exclude some procedures can be changed to exclude more procedures. So, unless you keep fully on track of all the material the fund sends you, and regularly check your policy, you might find yourself without cover for something you'll actually need. 

Therefore, you tend to be better off with a policy that covers everything, as funds are much less likely to add restrictions to those.

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