How do I know when I need to change my health insurance policy from individual to family?

Making the change

If you are settling down, congratulations. Big news. Bet your parents are rapt. The fun really starts now! No doubt there’s a lot to discuss with your new partner – toilet seat up or down, doona etiquette, dishwashing roster etc. Once you’ve had those important chats, it might be time to move on to the conversation about cheap health insurance.

* The price shown is per week and applies to a {LIFESTAGE} living in VIC with a $500 excess. It excludes LHC loading and includes a Base Tier Government Rebate

If you both already have individual health insurance, then it can be worthwhile thinking about joining your policies together with Frank. We promise, there’ll be no ceremony involved, no drunk uncles and no embarrassing speeches from ‘friends’. Having one combined health insurance policy, either as a couple or a family, is one less thing to worry about. You only need to pay one premium payment, and if you lose your details, you know there is someone else nearby who will have theirs!

The good news about having couples cheap health insurance is it’s quite easy to change it to family insurance, simply by adding a dependent, baby or otherwise, at no extra cost. If you do that, make sure the cover you have reflects the treatments and services you and your family are likely to need.

Finding the change

There is also financial stuff to think about when changing from individual health insurance to couples or family cheap health insurance. The Federal Government encourages people like you to have cheap health insurance and helps you out, using both a carrot and a stick. When it comes to the carrot, they offer you a rebate for just signing up to health insurance, depending on your level of income. If your taxable income is less than $90,000 as an individual, or less than $180,000 as a family, couple or single parent, and you are under the age of 65, you can be eligible for a rebate of up to almost 27% of the cost of your cover. There are different tiers based on how much you earn.

The stick comes in the form of the Medicare Levy Surcharge, which is basically a tax on those who have a taxable income over a certain amount of money who don’t have hospital cover. Like the rebate, the MLS is tiered, meaning the more you earn, the more you could pay.

This is important to keep in mind when changing your individual health insurance policy into a couples or family plan. If there is a biggish difference between you and your partner’s income, having a couples or family cheap health insurance plan could see you both eligible for a higher rebate, or pay a lower (or no) MLS. This is because your income will be combined. Of course, it all depends on your individual incomes levels, and you may end up paying a higher MLS or receiving a smaller rebate, but it’s worth investigating.

Also, if you sign up for cheap hospital health insurance before you are 30, you will avoid paying Lifetime Health Cover loading. LHC is a 2% loading for every year you don't have hospital cover after you turn 30. If you join a hospital cover now and you’re 35 years old, your LHC loading will be an extra 10% of your premium

The big change

If you are planning to start a family, then changing your individual health insurance to accommodate the pitter patter of little feet is important. There are a couple of things you need to know, especially when it comes to helping you make sure your cheap health insurance covers everyone you want it to, when you want it to. If you want private hospital cover for obstetrics, Frank’s Best Hospital cover is our best hospital option for you. Best Hospital provides cover for medical procedures, including specialist fees, anaesthetic fees and some hospital charges while you are an inpatient. It also covers you for hospital charges such as accommodation and the delivery suite, as well as your choice of obstetrician for the labour.

You will have to pay an excess when admitted to hospital and will also have to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses from your doctors including the obstetrician, pathologist and anaesthetist. It is a good idea to check with them before you go to hospital how much you will be out of pocket.

Best Hospital doesn’t cover you for obstetrician appointments before the birth.

Like most health funds, there is a 12-month waiting period before you can claim benefits for any pregnancy cover with Frank. So if you want to use your cheap health insurance to claim for pregnancy benefits, ensure you add it to your health cover as soon as you can.

If you have individual or couples health insurance only, and intend on using Medicare and the public system for your pregnancy, you can still have your newborn baby added to your private health insurance after they are born. All you need to do is upgrade your membership to a family or single parent policy from the day your baby is born. If you have a couples membership and add your child, your cover will automatically be updated to family. The other good news is we’ll make your new bundle of joy exempt from any waiting periods, which means they will be covered for treatments and benefits from day one.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you contact us to make it happen. We are only too happy to help, and share in your joy.

Having a baby might also be a good opportunity to upgrade the level of cover for your whole family. It might be a good time to take out extras cover if you don’t already have it. Frank can offer you extras cover that includes postnatal classes and treatments like remedial massage, physiotherapy and myotherapy. Having a higher level of cover can mean higher benefits, which can lead to better piece of mind for you and your family.

Get 1 month free + skip 2 & 6 month waits on extras* when you join on combined cover by March 31.

*For new members (if you have been a Frank Health Insurance member in the last 12 months, sorry you don’t qualify). Must pay first month to receive second month free. 12 month waits, annual and sub limits apply. Offer ends 31 March, 2018.