What is LHC?
If you believe that you're at all likely to sign up for insurance when you are older, you should consider doing so before Lifetime Health Cover loading hits you.
What is Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading?
The Federal Government introduced the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) scheme in July 2000. Under the scheme, if you don't take out private health insurance hospital cover by the 1st of July following your 31st birthday, you'll pay significantly higher premiums in the form of an LHC Loading when you eventually do sign up for private health insurance.
How does LHC work?
Your premiums will increase by 2% for each year that you delay joining after the age of 31.
How will that affect me?
- If you get health insurance for the first time when you are 41 years old, you will be charged an extra 20% LHC Loading
- If you get health insurance for the first time when you 66 or older, you will pay a 70% LHC Loading
- The LHC Loading will remain in place for 10 years
How can I avoid the LHC loading?
You can avoid the above by taking out private health insurance hospital cover by the 1st of July following your 31st birthday.
OK. What if I don't take out health insurance by my 1st July deadline?
If you don’t join by the 1st July deadline, you'll be required to pay the appropriate LHC Loading for a continuous period of 10 years, after which it won't apply.
During the time a LHC Loading might apply you are permitted to have periods of absence (like being overseas for a prolonged period of time) adding up to three years without affecting your loading. However, it will apply for 10 years of required payment.
Since 1st July 2013, the LHC Loading no longer attracts the Australian Government Rebate for health insurance. This means that you will be required to pay the entire loading. If you are currently subject to LHC Loading your monthly bill will increase slightly.
Are there any exceptions?
LHC legislation has a number of special rules that can offer waivers or exceptions in the following cases:
- Recent immigrants
- Australians returning from overseas
- Norfolk Islanders
- Former members of the Australian Defense Forces
- Staff of the Australian Antarctic Division
- And some other particular groups of people.
If you believe you are eligible for any of the above exemptions, please refer to the lifetime health cover loading exemptions.