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 you have during the suspension period.

The suspension applies to the whole membership, and all members listed on the policy will not be insured during the suspension period.

If you hold hospital and extras products under the same membership you can’t suspend one without the other.

The fund has the right deny the suspension request if your request does not meet the suspension requirements. We recommend your communication preference is set to email, this will ensure you have access to all correspondence including confirmation or denial details of your suspension whilst your Membership is suspended.

Contact Australian Unity on 13 29 39 if you have any questions about suspending your level of 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 have been an Australian Unity member with hospital cover (including combined hospital and extras cover) for at least 1 month.
  • The minimum suspension period is 2 months with a maximum suspension period of 24 months.
  • The membership must be paid up to or in advance of the proposed effective date of the suspension.
  • If you suspend your cover, you will not be able to suspend it again until 12 months after the date of resumption.
  • Members with separate hospital and extras memberships will need to suspend both simultaneously.
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.

How to apply for a suspension
  • You can call us on 13 29 39 and apply for the suspension over the phone; or
  • You can fill out the Membership Suspension form and send it to Australian Unity.
  • For overseas travel - suspension will apply from the day after the departure date you nominated on the form or from the date of the receipt of the application form, whichever is later
  • For financial hardship – suspension will apply from the day you nominated on the form or from the date after the policy is paid to, whichever is earlier
  • If you are applying for overseas travel suspension, you must apply prior to your departure
How to reinstate your cover
  • Unless we hear from you, your cover will automatically be reinstated on the date approved by Australian Unity for your suspension request.
  • Once your membership is reinstated, all benefits and waiting periods will resume from where they left off
  • When your membership is reinstated we will credit 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 when you come back to Australia.
  • Your membership (and all benefit entitlements) will cease if your membership becomes unfinancial due to failure to make a further payment after its reinstatement.

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

Note: If you have LHC loading, the 10 year anniversary end date will be delayed by the period your membership was suspended.

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