Why the best birthday present you can give yourself might be health insurance

If you’ve turned 31, or you’re about to, and you don’t have private hospital cover, then you’ll soon be receiving a letter from the Australian government, introducing you to Lifetime Health Cover.

Lifetime Health Cover, or LHC, is designed by the Australian government to encourage all Australians to take out private hospital cover, and to keep that cover.

It kicks in if you do not have hospital cover on the 1st of July following your 31st birthday.

Here’s how it works.  For every year you are aged over 31 when you take out private hospital cover, you pay a 2% loading on top of your normal insurance premium. The loading is charged automatically by your health fund.

For example, if you first took out hospital cover at age 40 you pay 20% more than someone who first took out hospital cover at age 30. Have a look at this chart to see how 2% a year can really add up – all the way to 70% loading if you wait until aged 65 to get yourself covered.  Click here to calculate your loading on the PrivateHealth.gov.au website.

LHC graph

The LHC is different from, and in addition to, the Medicare Levy surcharge that you pay when your income reaches a certain level and you do not have private health insurance. Combined, they can really make a dent in your income, especially if you’re saving for a home or a holiday.

So if you don’t have private hospital cover, now is the time to talk to our friendly and knowledgeable Member Services team. They can walk you through your options and help you work out the cover that’s best for you. Cover like our Smart Starter Bronze Plus Hospital, for example starts from just $90.35 per month.* You’ll enjoy the benefits of quality hospital cover that offers real value for money AND helps you avoid the LHC and the public hospital queues.

For more information on how Private Health Insurance can benefit you, speak to one of our Member Specialists on 1800 226 126.

*This quote for a Single policy, under 65 years of age living in NSW with a full Government rebate of 25.059% and no lifetime health cover loading.