Catholic Health Australia has backed calls to raise the age that young Australians can stay on their parents' private health insurance beyond the current age cut-off of 25. Source: The Age.
By Dana McCauley, The Age
The Morrison Government is considering a proposal to allow family cover to enable young Australians to stay on their parents’ private health insurance plans until the age of 30, backed by health funds desperate to slow a fall in membership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHA chief Pat Garcia said the measure would help stem the youth exodus from private healthcare by keeping young Australians in the system until they were in a better financial position.
“If we want to start plugging the holes in the private health insurance system we need to let young Australians stay on the family plan for longer,” Mr Garcia said.
Mr Garcia said young people were “living at home longer, getting married later, and starting families well into their 30s”, while older Australians were far wealthier than in previous generations.
“It’s little wonder that asset-less 25-year-olds, faced with a sky-high property market and flat wage growth, are opting out of the private health insurance system,” he said.
Allowing them to delay paying for health insurance until the age “when they can best afford it, and also when they most need it – like when they are thinking of having families of their own” would make the product more appealing, he said.
Currently, health funds generally allow young adults to stay on their parent’s policies only if they are under 25, unmarried and earning less than $20,000 a year. They are not permitted to allow adult children over 25 to remain on the family policy.
A spokesman for Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government would consider the proposal in more detail in the lead-up to the October federal budget.