Lifetime Health Cover
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) is a government initiative that started on 1 July 2000. It is aimed at encouraging people to take out hospital cover early in life and maintain it.
To qualify for lower premiums, known as the base rate, you must take out hospital cover before 1 July immediately following your 31st birthday.
If you take out hospital insurance later in life, then you will pay a 2% loading on top of the base premium for every year you are aged over 30, up to a maximum loading of 70%.
On 1 July 2013, the Australian Government introduced a change to remove the rebate from any Lifetime Health Cover loading that may apply to a policy, meaning that as from 1 July 2013, the rebate only applies to the base rate premium of a private health insurance product.
The loading will cease when a person has held hospital cover for ten continuous years. However, the loading maybe reapplied if you then cease to hold a hospital cover and subsequently take it up again.
What if I drop my hospital cover?
People are able to drop their cover for up to 1,094 days over their lifetime, for whatever reason, without incurring any penalty loading when they re-join. They will, however, have to serve all the usual waiting periods that apply to new members when they re-join.
Can people vary the level of their health insurance cover under Lifetime Health Cover?
Yes. People are able to upgrade or downgrade their hospital cover policy under Lifetime Health Cover without affecting their premium rating. The usual rules for waiting periods will apply.
The only circumstances under which a person’s premium rating may be affected by a variation to their private health insurance cover could be if they changed from a policy that included hospital cover to a policy that did not. In this case the period of absence rules would apply.
NOTE: Lifetime Health Cover loading amounts are not eligible for any discounts including 2.5% for members on Direct Debit.
The rates quoted in this brochure do not take into account any potential Lifetime Health Cover loading.