Health Insurance for Couples: The Facts - the little lioness

Health Insurance for Couples: The Facts

This post is brought to you by Choosi.

Rish and I recently changed health insurers, and saved about $20 a month on our hospital and ambulance cover. Nice (especially with my current lack of income, and impending 30th birthday). Below is an advertorial post from Choosi, a health insurance comparison website. I think it certainly pays to shop around!

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If you’re in a relationship or newly married, you might want to consider taking out a couple’s insurance policy, as it can help save you time and money. However, there are a few things to take into account before selecting the right policy from comparison websites like Choosi:

Lifetime Health Cover for couples

A scheme created by the Government, Lifetime Health Cover encourages people to take out health insurance at an early age and keep it going for life. It rewards people who take out a policy before they turn 30 by offering the lowest base rate premium on the basis that they keep covered.
Those who don’t take health insurance out before they reach 30 have to pay a 2% age loading on hospital for each year of delay e.g. a 35-year-old will have to pay 10% extra if they don’t start till that age. To avoid paying an age loading, you have to take out a policy before turning 31 if you do so before July 1st.

If you and your partner didn’t take the time to compare private health insurance before the age of 30, you have to pay the average age loading, which is calculated by adding your combined loading and then divided in half: [partner 1’s age loading] + [partner 2’s age loading] /2 = average age loading.

Even if one partner has no age loading, if the other has one, it’s divided by two giving you an average age loading, which means having to pay for your partner. However, if one partner has held hospital cover continuously for a period of 10 years, their age loading will drop and the average loading will be recalculated.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge for couples

$160,000 is the current threshold for the Medical Levy Surcharge for the 2011-2012 financial year. Any couple earning more than that amount has to pay an extra 1% tax, which is the Medical Levy Surcharge, although it doesn’t apply if you already have hospital cover. It’s paid on top of the 1% Medicare Levy which couples already pay.

The advantages of private health insurance for couples

Like other forms of cover such as income protection insurance, having private health insurance can cover a lot including accidents, treatment for a serious medical condition or even having a baby. Among the things which private health insurance covers are:

• Extras both in hospitals and ancillary services such as dental care and physiotherapy
• Hospital accommodation in a private or public hospital
• Doctors’ fees
• Theatre costs
• Reduced waiting times for treatment

By comparing couples health insurance policies now, you’ll be able to find the plan which suits both you and your partner.

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