Student and Adult Dependants explained

Here's some information on the differences between Student and Adult Dependants.

Time to think about health insurance

As you get older you can still be included on your parents' health insurance as a Child Dependant until you turn 21 or, in some cases, as a Student Dependant or an Adult Dependant until you turn 31, provided you're not married or in a de facto relationship.

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

I am single, a full-time student and aged between 21 and 31

You're classified as a 'Student Dependant' and may remain or 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 31

If you're in the age range of 21 to 30 (inclusive), aren't studying full time and are not married or in a de facto relationship, depending on the cover your parents have, you may be able to remain or 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 a range of products that might best suit younger people, such as Extras cover with dental, optical and physio. Waiting periods may apply.

I am turning 31

Once you marry or enter a de facto relationship, or turn 31, you can no longer be included in your parents' health insurance. If you don't get your own health insurance, you may lose benefits that private health insurance provides such as treatment with your choice of doctor, or help with the costs of Extras services included on some covers like dental, optical 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 if you transfer within 2 months of leaving your parents' cover. You will need to serve any waiting periods for higher benefits or new services you add to your new cover.

Choose your health cover and check out young adult cover, which features a range of products that might best suit younger people, such as Extras cover with dental, optical and physio. Waiting periods may apply.

Turning 31 and LHC

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, depending on how long you didn't have cover, you may 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 could 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 $93,000 and don't have children

If you're single and start earning over $93,000, 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 $93,000, 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?

Canstar awarded ‘Outstanding Value Health Insurance’ 16 years in a row

We’re proud to deliver outstanding value health insurance products designed to suit your needs. But don’t just take our word for it.

Useful resources 

Icon Hospital

What are the common hospital procedures for someone like you?

Our interactive tool reveals the common procedures, what you might pay out-of-pocket and how health insurance could help manage the costs.

Icon Pre Existing

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.#

Icon Information

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

# Where annual income for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes is over $93,000 as a single (or $186,000 as a couple/family).

Medibank Private Limited cannot advise on financial or tax matters. Any information provided to you is general in nature and does not take account of your individual circumstances. You should obtain your own independent financial advice.

Have questions?

Our team of experts are ready to help!

Enter your postcode to find your nearest store to have a face-to-face chat!

Fill in the form below or get in touch by calling our dedicated line 1300 110 086.
We are open on Sundays.

In providing your telephone number, you consent to Medibank contacting you about health insurance.

We'll have someone call you soon to help with any questions you have.

contact us