What’s the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading?
Health insurance acronym #234, the LHC loading is a government initiative to encourage people to take out and maintain private hospital insurance before they turn 31.
But, if you take out hospital or hospital and extras cover on or before 1 July following your 31st birthday, you don’t need to worry about it as long as you maintain your hospital cover.
How does LHC work?
If you DON'T have hospital cover by 1 July following your 31st birthday and you choose to take it out later in life, a loading of 2% will be added to your hospital cover premium for each year you’re over the age of 30 without hospital cover. This is called the LHC loading.
This means, if you wait to take out hospital cover until after 1 July following your 31st birthday, the LHC loading you’ll have to pay will be:
|| LHC loading
|31 years old||2%|
|32 years old||4%|
|33 years old||6%|
|34 years old||8%|
|35-65 years old||Continues to increase 2% every year|
The Australian Government Rebate (AGR) is not applied to the LHC loading component of your hospital cover premium (if applicable).
Does the LHC apply to everyone?
There are a few groups of people who are exempt from the LHC loading or may be subject to special rules. For example, some veterans and members of the Australian Defence Force may avoid having the LHC applied. Or if you’re born on or before 1 July 1934 you won’t have the LHC applied.
To find out if you’re exempt or if special rules may apply to you, learn more about LHC exemptions.
Or if you think you may be exempt, you can apply to have your LHC loading assessed by our team. Fill out the application for exemption from LHC form.
What is your LHC loading?
Visit the government website to find out.
Compare our hospital cover options
We've got lots of different types of hospital cover, find one that suits you.
- The loading is applied for a maximum of 10 years. That means, once you have held hospital cover for 10 consecutive years, you stop paying it as long as you retain your hospital cover.
- That means, if you take out hospital cover for the first time when you’re 35, your loading will be locked in at 10% for 10 years and removed when you’re 45 as long as you’ve maintained hospital cover for that period.
- If you cancel your hospital cover after this time, the loading may be reapplied if you decide to take up hospital cover again. Depending how much time has passed since you last held hospital cover, your LHC loading may be higher when you take our hospital cover again.
If your health insurer agrees to suspend your hospital policy, then this suspension period will not count towards your 1,094 permitted days without hospital cover. This means, your LHC loading status won’t be affected while your policy is suspended, including if your policy is suspended with ahm due to financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
If you need to suspend your policy please contact us.
Want to find out more about LHC loading?
Visit the government's website to find out more.
For independent private health insurance advice, visit privatehealth.gov.au.