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Reviewed and updated 25 April 2023

What is Singles Health Insurance? 

In Australia, Singles Health Insurance is private health cover for a single person.

You have the option of taking out:

Singles Health Insurance differs from Single Parent Health Insurance, Couples Health Insurance and Family Health Insurance because there is only one person on the policy.

The advantage of Singles Health Insurance over Couples Health Insurance is you can tailor the policy specifically to your personal needs. 

For this reason, it sometimes makes sense for a couple to take out separate policies.

Every private health insurer in Australia offers health insurance for singles.


How much does Singles Health Insurance cost?  

Prices

For singles:

  • Hospital Cover starts at around $100 per month
  • Extras Cover starts at around $15 per month
  • Combined Hospital and Extras Cover starts at around $115 per month.

Key factors affecting the cost of Singles Health Insurance

The cost of Singles Health Insurance depends on the tier of Hospital Cover and/or extent of Extras Cover, your age, income, where you live, excess payable and any co-payments:

  • Tier of Hospital Cover:
    • Basic Cover
    • Bronze Cover
    • Silver Cover
    • Gold Cover.
  • Extent of Extras Cover
  • Your age:
    • If you are 18-29, you may be eligible for the Age-based Discount, which means you can save up to 10% per year on Hospital Cover. 
    • if you have not taken out Hospital Cover before the age of 31, you may have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover Loading, which is 2% per year for every year you have not taken out cover. 
  • Your income: if your income is $140,000 or less, you may be eligible for the Private Health Insurance Rebate, which gives you a discount on:
    • Hospital Cover
    • Extras Cover
    • Ambulance Cover.

If your income is over $90,000 per year and you do not have Hospital Cover, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

  • Where you live: you pay more if:
    • you live in an area where there is a higher rate of claims
    • your state or territory charges more for hospital services.
  • Higher excess: applies if you want to pay this in exchange for a lower premium.
  • Co-payment: applies if you want to make a contribution for every day you are in hospital in exchange for a lower premium.

What is the best Singles Health Insurance?  

To find the best Singles Health Insurance for your family, ask yourself these 10 questions:

Q1: What do you want from your health insurance?
  • Are you currently fit and healthy and just want the basics?
  • Do you want health insurance to reduce your tax bill only?
  • Do you have a pre-existing condition?
  • What is your family history of health conditions?
Q2: How old are you?
  • Are you young and healthy?
    • You may want:
      • the most basic level of Hospital Cover to minimise your tax
      • affordable Hospital Cover and/or Extras Cover that cover the key areas.
  • Are you middle aged?
    • You may want:
      • a higher level of Hospital Cover in case something goes wrong.
      • Extras Cover that helps you maintain your health and wellbeing.
  • Are you an older person?
    • You may want:
      • the highest level of Gold Hospital Cover in case something goes wrong
      • a high level of Extras Cover to preserve your health and help you pay for health services that Medicare does not cover.
Q3: What type of health insurance do you need?
  • Hospital Cover
  • Extras Cover
  • Combined Hospital and Extras Cover
  • Ambulance Cover Only.
Q4: If you want Hospital Cover, what level of Hospital Cover do you need?

Hospital Cover tiers:

  • Basic
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold.
Q5: If you want Extras Cover, what treatments do you need and are likely to use? 

There is no point taking out Extras Cover if you are not going to use it.

Q6: For Extras Cover, what are the limits on the policy?

Check the policy for:

  • claim limits (how many claims you can make for a particular treatment)
  • annual limits (how much you can claim each year)
  • lifetime limits (how many claims you can make for a particular treatment over the lifetime of the policy).
Q7: What is your budget?
  • Does the cover you have selected fit within your budget? 
  • Are you eligible for the Private Health Insurance Rebate?
  • Are you eligible for the Age-based Discount?
  • Will you have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover Loading?
Q8: Will you have to pay an excess if you make a claim on Hospital Cover?
  • How much is the excess? 
  • Will you be able to afford the excess if you make a claim?
Q9: Will you have to make a co-payment if you make a claim on your Hospital Cover policy?
  • How much is the co-payment?
  • Will you be able to afford the co-payment if you make a claim?
Q10: Does the policy have waiting periods?

Check the policy to find out:

  • What is the waiting period before you can make a claim for a particular Hospital Cover clinical category?
  • What is the waiting period before you can make a claim for a particular Extras Cover treatment?

For example: 

  • If you are thinking of having children, you need Gold Cover, which has a waiting period of 12 months before you can make a claim.
  • If you want your baby to be covered under your policy when they are born, most health insurers require you take out a family policy 12 months before the baby is born but some health funds require up to 12 months.

What is the best health insurance for young singles? 

When you are young and healthy, you may want to take out a low level of health insurance only.

This could mean you decide to take out a lower tier of Hospital Cover.

Here are some examples of how it works:

A single earning under $90,000 a year

Stephen is a 24-year-old single who has just entered the workforce. He earns $75,000 per year. He is fit, healthy and rides his bike to work. Stephen is concerned about the cost of private health insurance. 

As he earns less than $90,000, per year the Private Health Insurance Rebate gives him a 24.608% discount on the price of Hospital Cover and Extras Cover. If his insurer offers it, he can also claim an Age-based Discount of 10% on Hospital Cover because he is under 25. This discount will last until he is 41 when it starts to phase out at 2% per year. 

Stephen uses the healthslips.com.au Calculator and takes out a Basic Plus Hospital Cover with a $750 excess. Factoring in the Private Health Insurance Rebate and the Age-based Discount, it costs him around $75 per month.

A single earning over $90,000 a year

Olivia is a 30-year single who earns $152,000 per year. She is fit, healthy and runs 10km each day. Her accountant has told her that if she does not take out Hospital Cover she will have to pay a Medicare Levy Surcharge of 1.5% on her taxable income, which will cost her $2,280 per year. 

Meanwhile, she is not eligible for the Private Health Insurance Rebate or the Age-based Discount because she earns over $140,000 per year and is 30. If she takes out Hospital Cover once she turns 31, she will have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover Loading at 2% per year up to a maximum of 70% for 10 years.

Olivia uses the healthslips.com.au Calculator and finds a Combined Bronze Plus Hospital and Extras Cover policy with a $750 excess that costs around $165 per month or $2,000 per year. Having private health insurance saves her $280 per year because she avoids paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.


What is the best health insurance for singles over 50? 

As you get older, you may want to take out a higher level of Hospital Cover and additional Extras Cover.

While Medicare and the public health system is well equipped to deal with acute health issues, you will find yourself on a waiting list for anything categorised as non-acute or elective. 

The advantage of having Hospital Cover as you get older is that, if you need elective surgery or other treatments, you can enter the private system and:

  • avoid waiting lists
  • select your doctor rather than have the hospital allocate a doctor to your case.

Here are some examples of how it works:

A single over 50 earning under $90,000 per year

Michael is a 54-year-old single who earns $85,000 a year. He has had a couple of health scares and is considering taking out private health insurance.

Michael uses the healthslips.com.au Calculator and discovers, as he earns less than $90,000 per year, the Private Health Insurance Rebate entitles him to a discount of 24.608%. As he has never held Hospital Cover, he will have to pay a 48% Lifetime Health Cover Loading (2% x 24 years) on the price of any Hospital Cover he takes out. He will have to pay the Loading for 10 years.

While Michael wants good cover, he does not need Gold Hospital Cover treatments like Assisted Reproductive Services, Pregnancy and Birth, Weight Loss Surgery and Sleep Studies. Using the healthslips.com.au Calculator he finds a Silver Hospital Cover policy with a $500 excess. It will cost him $200 per month or $2,400 per year (including the Private Health Insurance Rebate and Lifetime Health Cover Loading).


What is the best health insurance for retired singles?

Once you retire, you may have assets like your family home and other investments, but your income drops significantly.

At the same time, your health needs are increasing and you are worried about the long public waiting lists for non-acute or elective procedures or treatments.

Here are some examples of how it works:

A single over 70 with an income under $90,000 per year

Lex is a 74-year-old single who earns $48,000 per year. He has always relied on Medicare and the public health system for his health needs. As he is getting older and his health needs are likely to increase, he decides he should take out private health insurance.

As Lex’s income is less than $90,000 and he is over 70, he is entitled to a Private Health Insurance Rebate of 32.812%. However, as he has never held Hospital Cover, he will have to pay a 70% Lifetime Health Cover Loading (2% x 44 but capped at 70%) for 10 years.

He uses the healthslips.com.au Calculator and finds: 

The cheapest Gold Hospital Cover policy with a $750 excess will cost him $240 per month or $2,880 per year, which he cannot afford. 

A Bronze Plus policy for $115 a month but is concerned about the limited cover and $750 excess.

A Silver Plus Policy for $200 a month with a $250 excess, which meets most of his requirements except for cataracts.

After reviewing his finances, Lex decides Bronze and Silver Cover are beyond his means. Lex decides to continue to rely on Medicare and the public health system.

A single over 65 with an income under $140,000 per year

Agnieszka is a 67-year-old single who earns $110,000 per year. In recent years, she has developed some health issues and needs a hip replacement. As a public patient, she had to wait for over 12 months for the surgery as it was classified ‘elective’.

Agnieszka is now considering private health insurance. As she earns less than $140,000, the Private Health Insurance Rebate gives her a discount of 12.303%. As she has never held Hospital Cover, she will have to pay a 70% Lifetime Health Cover Loading (2% x 37 but capped at 70%) for 10 years.

However, if she takes out Hospital Cover, she will save 1.25% on her tax because she no longer has to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. She uses the healthslips.com.au Calculator and finds a Silver Plus Hospital Cover policy. It will cost her $2,400 per year or $200 a week, meets her needs and is within her budget.


How can I compare health insurance for singles? 

Use our Calculator to find the best and cheapest health insurance for you.

We compare every insurer and policy.

We can also give you a personalised price for your Singles Health Insurance because you can calculate whether you:

  • can save on your health insurance because you are eligible for the Private Health Insurance Rebate and/or the Age-based Discount
  • have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover Loading.

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