Lifetime Health Cover

Lifetime Health Cover is a loading that was put in place by the Federal Government. This is to encourage people to take out private hospital cover earlier in life.

Avoid LHC with a hospital cover that suits you.

How do I avoid Lifetime Health Cover loading?

Join any nib hospital cover
before July 1 following your 31st birthday.

Stay with it, and you'll avoid the 2% annual loading.

Lifetime Health Cover loading only applies to the hospital portion of your premiums on a combined cover and does not apply to Extras cover or Ambulance only cover.

Find out more about how you could avoid the Lifetime Health Cover loading.

*QLD & TAS residents are covered by State Ambulance Schemes

How Lifetime Health Cover works

Loading

For each year

You could pay an extra 2% on top of your private hospital premium (up to a maximum of 70%).

To avoid paying a LHC loading, you need to purchase hospital cover before July 1 following your 31st birthday.

Who does LHC apply to?

LHC will apply if you are 31 or over and:

  • Don't have private hospital cover before July 1 following your 31st birthday
  • Have periods totalling more than 1,094 days without private hospital cover
  • Migrated to Australia and don't take out private hospital cover within 12 months of being registered for full Medicare benefits.
  • Have been travelling overseas and don't take out private hospital cover within 12 months from the day you returned to Australia

What happens if I am over 31?

If you will be 31 or older by July 1 and don't have private Hospital cover yet, you will pay the additional LHC loading on your Hospital premium once you decide to take it out. For each year you put it off, your loading will go up by another 2%.

What if I am switching between health funds?

To avoid using up any of the 1,094 permitted days (one day short of three years) you can be without hospital cover during your lifetime, we recommend you keep your cover with your old fund until the date you transfer to us.

If you already have an LHC loading, it will move with you.

What if I suspend my cover?

Suspending your policy won't affect your LHC status. While you won't be able to claim on services provided in this time and you won't be paying your premiums for the duration of the suspension, you'll still be classed as maintaining your cover.

See Suspend or Resume Your Policy or contact us for more information.

What if I am going overseas?

If you're going to be out of Australia for 2 months to 24 months, you can apply to suspend your health cover. If your request is approved, your LHC loading level will not be affected and, if you take out travel insurance, you'll avoid waiting periods for pre-existing hospital conditions when you return to Australia.

If you anticipate being out of the country for at least a year and decide to cancel your health insurance, the only time that will count towards your 1094 permitted days will be any periods of 90 days or more you spend in Australia, per visit. If you're in the country for less than 90 days, you'll still be counted as being overseas and won't affect your level of loading.

What if I'm a new migrant to Australia?

You'll have until either 1 July following your 31st birthday or until the one-year anniversary of your full Medicare registration (whichever is the later) to get private hospital insurance and avoid an LHC loading.

If you're over 31 and you'll be overseas on your Medicare anniversary (if you registered with Medicare on or after 1 July 2009) you won't be affected by the loading, provided you take out private hospital cover within 12 months of your return to Australia. If you don't have private hospital cover by this new anniversary, you'll have an LHC loading applied to your insurance premium when you do purchase it.

When do I stop paying the LHC loading?

If you take out private hospital cover after June 30 following your 31st birthday and Lifetime Health Cover loading is applied to your health cover when you join, you will need to pay this loading for 10 consecutive years before it ceases to apply.

Once the 10 year mark is reached on your policy, a letter will be sent out confirming the new premium amount. Any other individuals on the policy who are eligible for this removal will also be contacted at this time. If you don't hear from us, and feel you are eligible for the premium reduction, please contact us.

Avoid LHC with a hospital cover that suits you.

Want more info?

Contact us, or visit the department of Health and Ageing website at www.health.gov.au