Health insurance premiums will increase by about four per cent from April 1.
Health insurance premiums will increase by about four per cent from April 1.

Get yourself private health insurance without paying a cent

FREELOADING off your parents can potentially save you thousands of dollars if you're smart about squeezing some money out of them.

For Australians aged in their 20s signing up to a costly health insurance policy is often out of the question but there's one easy solution - just get the bank of mum and dad to pay for it.

Bupa - one of the nation's largest health insurers with more than 4 million members - has about 102,000 members aged 21-25 people listed as children on their parents' policy.

Australians aged under 25 can usually get private health insurance coverage on their parents’ policy.
Australians aged under 25 can usually get private health insurance coverage on their parents’ policy.

But this doesn't just mean they are teenagers or younger - this also includes young adults aged up to 25.

Bupa's head of customer value, Tim Strahan, said there are many people who can still fall under their parents' cover and not have to open their own wallet.

"There are a lot of customers who are in their late teens that are covered under their family cover until they turn 21, which is standard,'' he said.

"But if they continue studying up until the age of 25 they continue to be covered on their family cover.

"If they decide to go into the full-time workforce after age 21 they need to start thinking about their health insurance options."

The fund said if you are working and no longer studying and are aged between 21 and 25 you can stay on your parents' cover at an extra cost, but once you reach 25 you need to consider taking out an individual policy.

The cost to remain on your parents' policy is cheaper than taking out individual cover.

Understanding private health insurance policies can be confusing.
Understanding private health insurance policies can be confusing.

If there is a lapse in cover Mr Strahan said Bupa allows a person 60 days to come off their parents' cover before signing up to their own policy and not have to serve any waiting periods.

Nib's Group Executive of Australian residents health insurance, Rhod McKensey, said there's a number of criteria they use to determine whether people aged between 21 and up to 25 can remain on their parents' health policy.

This includes:

Being student dependant - when a person is a full-time student and not married or in a defacto relationship they are able to stay on in the policy as a student dependant until they graduate or turn 25 (whichever occurs first).

University students often have limited access to funds while studying but many are able to have private health insurance cover using their parents’ policies.
University students often have limited access to funds while studying but many are able to have private health insurance cover using their parents’ policies.

Being adult dependant - the person is not studying full time, not married or in a defacto relationship and is nominated by the policyholder to stay on the policy for a fee (only charged for the first adult dependant on a policy; no extra costs for additional adult dependants).

But Mr McKensey said regardless of a person's situation it always pays to discuss options with insurers.

"Nib contacts all dependants once they are approaching the age limit (25) to discuss the options available to best suit their needs if they wish to remain covered,'' he said.

Nib has about 258,000 dependants aged under 25 listed on a parents' policy and 31,000 (12 per cent) are aged between 20 and 24.

News Corp Australia

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