Private health changes reach parliament

Young people could soon be allowed to stay on their family’s private health insurance plan for much longer.

The federal government has introduced legislation to change the dependence criteria for private health, with amendments to raise the age at which people can be considered dependents from 24 to 31.

They also remove any age barrier for people with a disability to be considered dependents.

“It means they have better capacity to be part of a family package, which increases the potential take-up of private health insurance,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Another 56,000 people have recently taken up private health cover, an increase of 0.1 per cent.

Mr Hunt said the surge was “interesting” and contrary to the government’s expectations during the coronavirus pandemic.

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