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Student and adult dependents explained

Turning 25 and unsure about health insurance? Here's some information on the differences between students and adult dependents.

Student and adult dependents explained

Time to think about health insurance

As you get older you can still be included on your parents' health insurance as a child dependent until you turn 21 or, in some cases, until you turn 25, provided you're not married on in a de facto relationship.

Below is a guide to the different stages in your twenties and early thirties when you may need to think about private health insurance.


I am single, a full-time student and aged between 21 and 25

You're classified as a 'student dependent' and may be added to your parents' health insurance.

Double check with your parents to see if you're included.

If not, get your folks to call us on 132 331.


I am single, not a full-time student and aged between 21 and 25

If you're in the age range of 21 to 24 (inclusive), aren't studying full time and are not married or in a de facto relationship, you may be able to be added to your parents' health insurance. Keep in mind: your parents will pay a higher premium.

Another option to consider is getting your own cover at the same level or looking for a product that better suits your needs.

Check out young adult cover, which features the range of Extras cover designed to keep you on top of your health with dental, glasses and physio. Waiting periods may apply.


I am turning 25

Once you marry or enter a de facto relationship, or turn 25, you are no longer included in your parents' health insurance. If you don't get your own health insurance, you may lose benefits that private hospital insurance provides such as treatment with your choice of doctor, and help with the costs of Extras services like dental, glasses and physio.

You may need to re-serve waiting periods if you let your health insurance lapse.

Choosing a level of cover that suits your health care needs and that is equal to or lesser than your parents' cover usually means you won't have to re-serve waiting periods (you will need serve any waiting periods for higher benefits or new services).

Choose your Hospital cover and check out young adult cover, which features the range of Extras cover designed to keep you on top of your health with dental, glasses and physio. Waiting periods may apply.


I am turning 31

Lifetime Health Cover is an Australian government initiative designed to encourage people to get Hospital cover early and keep it up.

Here's how it generally works: if you don't have Hospital cover with an Australian registered health fund by 1 July following your 31st birthday and then decide to take out Hospital cover down the track, you pay an extra 2% on your premiums for each year you go without Hospital cover after the age of 30.

For example, 10 years without health cover would add 20% to your hospital premium. The maximum loading is 70%.

Find out more about Lifetime Health Cover.

More information: Do I need health insurance if I'm turning 30?

I am earning over $90,000 and don't have children

If you're single and start earning over $90,000, you could pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge at tax time if you don't have an appropriate level of health insurance.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge is designed to encourage people to take out health insurance, and where possible, to use the private hospital system to reduce the demand on the public Medicare system.

Once you earn over $90,000, the surcharge amount depends on your income tier. The surcharge is calculated at the rate of 1% to 1.5% of your income for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes.

Find out more about the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

More information: Do I need health insurance for tax purposes?

Ready to get started?

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Useful resources 

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Is health insurance 'better' for you?

When it comes to health, 'better' is different for everyone. Work out if health insurance is better for you. Use our 'People Like You' tool to get an idea of common hospital procedures for people like you.

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How much extra tax could you pay without hospital cover?

Use the Medicare Levy Surcharge Calculator to find out if you're eligible, or discover how much extra tax you may be paying by not having Hospital cover for a full tax year.#

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Understanding Health Insurance

Health insurance can be tricky to understand. To help, we have put some handy guides together to get you started.

Things you need to know

* Hospital cover only.

# - This calculation is a guide only. For a more detailed quote of what you might pay we recommend speaking to a financial advisor who will be able to take into account your income and personal situation.