It’s an Australian Government initiative designed to encourage you to take out hospital cover earlier in life, and to keep it. The loading is added onto your hospital premium if you wait until after you’re 31 to take it out.
By law, all health insurers are required to apply the LHC loading to hospital cover if you join after you’re 31.
On July 1, following your 31st birthday, you’ll pay an extra 2% for hospital cover. Each year you delay, your loading increases by 2%, to a max of 70%. For example, if you join at 35 you’ll pay 10% more for the same policy, compared to someone who joined at 30.
This loading is only on your hospital policy and remains in place for 10 continuous years.
Example used for illustration purposes. Calculations based on a 2019 fortnightly Single Bronze Hospital cover $750 excess with the base tier rebate and 3% debit discount. The LHC amount will be added to your hospital cover and will remain in place for 10 continuous years.
Some Australians are exempt from the Lifetime Health Cover loading. For example, those born on or before 1 July 1934 won’t pay a loading on their Hospital cover.
PrivateHealth.gov.au lists all the special circumstances that may affect your LHC loading if you’re over 30. The Lifetime Health Cover calculator is great for working out if a loading applies to you.
To avoid paying extra, take out hospital cover with Health Partners before July 1 following your 31st birthday. Provided you maintain Hospital cover, you won’t pay the loading.