If you’re 31 or younger and think that your health is worth investing in, June is the month to do so.
That’s because of a financial loading applied to private hospital insurance known as Lifetime Health Cover (LHC), which encourages people to take out hospital cover at a younger age.
How does it work?
If you sign up for hospital cover before 1 July following your 31st birthday, you avoid paying LHC loading. Simply, you pay lower premiums compared to someone who joins when they are older.
LHC loading is applied at a rate of 2% for every year you are over 31. The loading is applied to a maximum of 70% and will only be removed once you have 10 years of continuous hospital cover.
Those who are 31 or younger who take out private hospital insurance are exempt from LHC for as long as they maintain their cover.
What else do I need to know?
- LHC loading only applies to hospital cover, not extras.
- If you take out hospital cover when you’re 31 or younger but cancel it and then purchase it once you’re older than 31, the loading will be applied.
- Australian citizens or permanent residents who are overseas on 1 July following their 31st birthday will have an extra 12 months to purchase hospital cover before they are charged the loading. You will need to obtain an International Movement Record. This is available from the Department of Home Affairs.
- New migrants aged over 31 will not have to pay LHC loading if they take out hospital cover within 12 months of applying for interim or full Medicare benefits.
- Exemptions also apply to members of the Australian Defence Force or holders of Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card.
You can find out more information about the LHC loading and private health insurance generally on the Federal Governnment’s private health website.