What’s new

30 July 2019

Dependents and Your Health Cover

Dependent children can be covered under your health insurance policy as long as you select the correct status and provide their details on your policy information.

The ATO classifies a child as a dependant if they are: 

  • under 21 years old
  • 21–24 years old and studying full-time at school, college or university

If you are paying child support your child can still be deemed to be a dependent, even if they don't live with you.

Your child includes:

  • your child, whether born in marriage or not
  • your adopted child
  • a child of your spouse (your stepchild)
  • someone who is your child within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 (for example, a child who is considered to be a child of a person under a state or territory court order giving effect to a surrogacy agreement)

A child dependent can be included on your private health insurance policy up to the age of 21 years, or 25 years if they are a full-time student, provided they are not married or in a de facto relationship.

Some funds may allow children between 21-25 years who are not studying full-time to remain under your health insurance policy as an ‘adult dependent’. Young adult dependents may attract an additional cost to your health insurance premium and they may also be required to meet other conditions specified by the health fund, such as income thresholds.

Once dependents marry, enter a de facto relationship or turn 25 they can no longer be included as a dependent on your health insurance policy. Some funds will also not classify someone as a dependent if they have full-time employment.  

Adult dependents with disabilities may also be covered under the same policy, depending on the health fund you are insured with. 

Conditions on dependents may vary between funds so check your health insurance policy terms and conditions.

Please note, if you are a dependent child and covered under your family or parent’s private health insurance, you are not eligible to claim a health insurance rebate on your tax return. However, the Medicare levy surcharge can still apply to you if your income is high enough.

If you have earned over the income threshold for the Medicare levy surcharge, but are covered by your family or parent’s private patient hospital insurance, you can avoid paying the surcharge by including the health insurance details on your tax return. 

Before completing the private health insurance section of your tax return, you will need to obtain a statement from one of the adults covered on the policy, as a statement will not be provided by the fund to dependents on a policy. 


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Liability is limited in those States where a current scheme applies.   


View earlier news

Previous Next