The Federal Government introduced Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading as a means to encourage people to take out hospital cover early in life and maintain it.
If you take out hospital cover before 1 July following your 31st birthday, you will pay lower premiums compared to someone who joins when they are older.
Effective 1st July 2013, the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 now includes a new provision requiring health insurers to cease applying the Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate to the Lifetime Health Cover loading component of the premium.
Taking out hospital cover later in life
A loading of 2% on top of a member's base rate premium will apply for each year a member's lifetime health cover age is above 30 years, when they first take out hospital cover.
The loading will increase by 2% each year (that you are a resident in Australia) and you delay, to a maximum of 70%. For couples and families the loading is determined by adding the two LHC loadings together and then dividing the result by two.
After 10 continuous years of cover, the loading ceases.
If you’re over 31 the sooner you take out hospital cover the smaller the loading you pay.
Take out hospital cover now.
Ceasing your hospital cover
Under LHC, once you have held your hospital cover for 12 months, you are permitted to cease your hospital cover for a cumulative period of 1,094 days during your lifetime. Some circumstances do not count towards your 1,094 permitted days. There are also exemptions and grace periods.
For more information visit the Department of Health and Ageing.