Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Student and adult dependents explained

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

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?

Canstar awarded ‘Outstanding Value Insurance’ 12 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 $90,000 as a single (or $180,000 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.

Things you should know

~ Limited to two dental check-ups on all extras annually. Maximum two bitewing x-rays per check-up, where clinically needed. Not available in all areas.

^Waiting periods apply. Up to annual limits, Some lens coatings excluded.

# For Accidents that occur after your cover starts and for which treatment is sought within 7 days. Excludes claims covered by third parties such as WorkCover and our Private Room Promise. Out of pockets may apply.

+ Not available in all areas. Must have eligible hospital cover, all relevant waiting periods must have been served and treating doctor must consider it appropriate. Out of pocket expenses may apply.

* Some claims, like paper based, may take longer to update. If you have Visitors Health Insurance, Working Visa Health Insurance or Overseas Student Health cover, you may not be able to use all the features.

‡ OFFER EXTENDED TO 31 JULY: For new members on new memberships who join and start eligible combined hospital and extras from 1 April – 31 July 2020 and who have not held Medibank health cover in previous 60 days. Must quote promo code 6FREE and set up direct debit when joining. Must maintain direct debit and hold eligible product for 30 continuous days from the policy start date to get next 6 weeks free. 2&6 month waits waived on extras: 2&6 month waiting periods on extras waived. Other waiting periods apply (including 12 months on some dental services). If you’ve reached your limits from a previous fund you may not be able to claim straight away. Excludes Corporate covers, Accident Cover, Ambulance Cover, Overseas Visitors Health Insurance, Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC), Working Visa Health Insurance, ahm covers and other selected covers. Not available with any other offer.

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