Lifetime Health Cover

The basics

Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) is a Government initiative designed to encourage people to take out hospital insurance earlier in life and to maintain their cover. It does not affect extras cover.

To avoid paying a LHC loading, you need to take out a private health insurance hospital policy by the 1st of July following your 31st birthday. For each year you delay, you will pay 2% more for your premium, up to a maximum of 70%.

If you were born before 1 July 1934, you are exempt from LHC.

Once you have paid a LHC loading on your private health insurance for 10 continuous years, the loading is removed as long as you retain your hospital cover.

Visit for detailed information about how Lifetime Health Cover works in relation to absences overseas and other circumstances.

What happens when you're over 31 and apply to join

The Lifetime Health Cover loading is applied to the policy for each adult who hasn't had hospital cover and is not eligible for an exemption. There is a section in our application where some questions help determine whether you or your partner will be affected by the Lifetime Health Cover loading.

When your application is processed the loading is calculated and added to the price of the policy. If you would like to know the amount of the loading in advance there is a calculator at