LHC (lifetime health cover loading) is an Australian government initiative introduced on 1st July 2000, to encourage people to take out private hospital cover and ease the pressure on the public system. It is designed to be taken out early in life and maintained over time, otherwise you will incur a penalty.
What is LHC Loading and how does it work?
Australians who don’t take out private hospital cover before 1 July following their 31st birthday generally face paying an annual 2% financial loading, in addition to the base rate premium for private hospital cover.
For example, if you wait until you are 35 to take out private hospital cover, you could pay an extra 10% on top of your premium. If you wait until you are 40, you could face paying up to 20% more, if you wait until you are 45, you could face paying an additional 30% on top of your premium and if you wait until you are 50, you could pay an additional 40%.
If you take out hospital cover before 1st July following your 31st birthday, you won’t have to pay LHC as long as you continue to hold eligible cover. Otherwise, in most circumstances, it is unavoidable and will increase by 2% every year until you purchase it. The maximum loading is 70%.
How you can avoid LHC Loading
The best way to avoid this increase on your health insurance premium is to simply take out hospital cover before 1 July following your 31st birthday. If you turned 31 in October 2016, you’d need to take it out before 1 July 2017.
How long is the LHC Loading applicable for?
If a policy holder pays for private hospital insurance for 10 continuous years, the loading will be removed (as outlined in the Private Health Insurance Act 2007). If you were born before 1 July 1934, you do not need to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading.
Remember, it’s for hospital cover only
Lifetime Health Cover loading only applies to hospital cover. It does not apply to private health insurance for extras cover (general and ancillary treatment).
To read even more about LHC check out our LHC FAQs page here.
Speak to an expert on 13 19 20 to discuss how Lifetime Health Cover Loading will impact you.