Suspending your private health insurance

If you’ve got hospital cover with Australian Unity, you can suspend your membership under certain conditions and reinstate it later without having to re-serve any of the waiting periods that you’ve already completed.

You won’t pay any premiums during the time your cover is suspended, but you also won’t be able to claim on any hospital or extras services.

Note that you can only suspend hospital cover (including hospital and extras combinations). You cannot suspend extras only cover.

If you’ve got Overseas Visitors Cover, you can check whether you’re eligible to suspend your cover here.

If you’re travelling overseas

You can suspend your cover for overseas travel if

  • you’ve been an Australian Unity member with hospital cover (including combined hospital and extras cover) for at least one month
  • your membership is paid at least one month in advance of your departure date (if your account is not paid up to date, you can’t apply for suspension)

Your cover can be suspended once every 12 months, for a minimum of two months up to a maximum of two years.

Note that Australian Unity must receive your suspension request BEFORE you leave Australia, and that the suspension will apply from your departure date.

If you’re suffering financial hardship

You can suspend your cover for financial hardship if

  1. you’ve been an Australian Unity member with hospital cover (including combined hospital and extras cover) for 12 continuous months  
  2. your membership is paid up to your suspension date

Your cover can be suspended for financial hardship up to a maximum of three times over the lifetime of your membership, with each suspension being a maximum of three months. A minimum of 12 months must have passed since your last suspension (for either financial hardship or overseas travel).

How to suspend your cover

There are a few criteria that, under normal circumstances, apply for a suspension. However, we understand that current times are certainly not normal. To request a suspension please call us on 1800 243 954 to find out about relevant support options.

How to reinstate your cover

Your cover will be automatically reinstated on the date you specify on the suspension form.

Once your membership is reinstated, all benefits and waiting periods will resume from where they left off, and you’ll be credited with any payments made in advance of your suspension date.

  • If you were paying by direct debit before suspending your membership, you’ll need to contact Australian Unity on 13 29 39 to get your direct debit reinstated.
  • If you suspended your cover for overseas travel, you must contact us within one month of your return to Australia and provide proof of your arrival date (for example, passport, flight ticket, boarding pass). Even though your cover is reinstated automatically on the date you nominated, we still require confirmation of the date you returned to Australia.

Note that if you don’t provide us with proof of travel within the agreed time limits, you’ll need to re-enrol and serve your original waiting periods.

Important things to know

You’re not covered while your membership is suspended

Australian Unity will not pay for any hospital or extras services during the suspension period.

How does the suspension affect Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading

If you suspend your membership instead of cancelling it, you will not pay any additional LHC loading on your hospital cover when you reinstate your cover. You can find out more about LHC loading at

How does suspension affect the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS)?

If you suspend your membership, you may no longer be exempt from the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Speak to your accountant or the Australian Tax Office to find out if this possible additional tax could outweigh what you’ll save. You can find out more about the MLS at

You can get a 10% discount on travel insurance

As an Australian Unity member, you’re entitled to a 10% discount on travel insurance. You’ll also enjoy the assurance of a 24-hour, world-wide emergency hotline and multi-lingual staff who are experts at dealing with travel issues and emergencies.

Get a quote by calling 13 29 39.