Increasing the age of dependants from 25 to 32 years
Teachers Health Group (incorporating Teachers Health, Nurses & Midwives Health and UniHealth) has announced it has extended the age limit of eligible dependants for private health insurance from 25 years to 32 years, helping to provide more accessible healthcare services to young people.
The change, which took effect on 1 April 2022, increases the age young people can remain on their family’s membership for an additional seven years, with the aim of helping to provide continuity of care and address affordability challenges.
Teachers Health Group has opted to implement the voluntary measure at the earliest opportunity and it comes following strong member feedback, where almost three-quarters (74%) of members surveyed revealed they’d consider adding their adult dependant back on their cover if the age was increased*.
With younger people being more likely to skip necessary healthcare costs and specialist treatment, especially mental health support**, the increase in age for dependants will enable those who are eligible to prioritise other living costs while still having access to important necessary and preventative health services.
Brad Joyce, Teachers Health Group CEO, comments: “Affordability is a key challenge for young people and at Teachers Health Group we’re focused on ensuring they don’t compromise on their health needs. With surging house prices and the rising cost of living, this measure will support young people to continue making their health a priority.
We’ve listened to our members’ feedback and as a not-for-profit health fund, we’re committed to giving back to our members. The introduction of this new measure will benefit members who can continue to cover their dependants on a family or extended family policy until their 32nd birthday.”
The announcement is part of a raft of support initiatives provided by Teachers Health Group to their members throughout the pandemic, including:
- The deferral of the 2022 premium increase until 1 October 2022. Along with the deferral of the 2020 premium increase, these measures are expected to provide an estimated $26 million in savings for members.
- The rollover of unused 2021 Extras annual limits which came into effect on 1 January 2022.
- The introduction of permanent telehealth benefits for a range of services.
- Cover for COVID-19 hospital admissions for members on all levels of Hospital cover and additional telehealth services for physiotherapy, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, chiropractic and osteopathic services and podiatry, received before 31 December 2022
- Financial hardship relief.
Additionally, in response to the recent flooding events, Teachers Health Group announced a disaster relief support package for members who’ve been directly impacted by the floods to apply for three months’ free cover.
*A survey was sent to a sample of 4,700 Teachers Health Group members who had a dependant come off their cover at 25yrs in the last 4 years. The intent of this survey was to understand the potential operational impact as a result of this reform.
** 2022. Out of pocket health care costs for treatment and medicines hurting Australians. [online] National Tribune: