What is Lifetime Health Cover?
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) is a Government initiative which commenced from 1 July 2000. It is designed to encourage people to take out private health insurance earlier in life, and to maintain their cover over their lifetime.
Basically, if you don’t have hospital cover by 1 July after your 31st birthday, you’ll pay an extra 2% on the standard contribution rate for every year you don’t hold cover over the age of 30, to a maximum loading of 70%.
How long do I have to pay my Lifetime Health Cover loading?
In 2007 the Private Health Insurance Act took effect with a new LHC provision. The new legislation states that if an individual has held hospital cover for 10 continuous years after 1 July 2000, they will no longer have to pay a LHC loading.
Will the LHC loading be taken off automatically?
Yes. If you have maintained Hospital cover with Australian Unity or been with one other health fund for 10 continuous years the LHC loading will automatically be removed.
Do I have to be a member of the same fund for the LHC loading to be removed?
No. The legislation protects a member's right to change funds without penalty. The LHC loading will be removed if a person has paid a loading for 10 continuous years regardless of the type of hospital cover or the number of funds of which they may have been a member.
What if I have been with more than one Health Insurance provider prior to joining Australian Unity?
To ensure we can calculate your LHC loading correctly, we will need you to provide transfer certificates from all your previous heath funds.
How do I obtain all my previous health fund transfer certificates?
Contact your previous health fund(s) and request a copy of your transfer certificate. They are required to issue your certificate within 14 business days of your request.
What if my previous health fund no longer exists?
Review this list to see if your previous health fund has merged with another fund. If they have, contact the new fund to request a copy of your transfer certificate. If your previous health fund is not on the list please contact us on 13 29 39 to discuss your options.
If I have a LHC loading will I have it forever?
No. The loading will be removed after you’ve held Hospital cover continuously for 10 years.
What happens if I cancel my private hospital insurance after the loading is removed?
If you cancel your private hospital cover after the loading has been removed, and then re-purchase it at a later date, the LHC provisions will re-apply. Depending on the period of time without Hospital cover, you may be subject to the LHC loading at the same or higher rate that would have applied had the loading not been removed.
I suspended my private hospital cover a couple of years ago. Does this still count towards the 10 continuous years?
No, a period of suspension does not count towards the accumulation of the 10 year period. However the suspension period is considered as “permitted days” without hospital cover and therefore is an allowable break in the continuity of the 10 year period. Note that you have in total 1094 permitted days without hospital cover during your lifetime.
Does my Extras cover count towards my 10 years continuous cover for LHC?
No. Extras cover does not qualify as Hospital cover and does not count towards your 10 continuous years of membership for LHC loading.
What happens if I have paid my premium in advance and then my LHC loading is removed?
This means premiums paid in advance will be adjusted and we will further advance your current financial date.
How is my LHC loading affected if I have a family or couple policy?
The LHC loading applies to each individual on your membership, over age 30. Therefore the premium that you pay for your couples or family cover will take into account your LHC age as well as you partner's LHC age. Under a joint family or couple policy, the LHC loading is determined by averaging out the respective loadings of the adults covered by the policy.