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Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Learn about Lifetime Health Cover loading and the additional cost it may have on your hospital premium. 

What is Lifetime Health Cover loading? 

Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading is an aged based initiative introduced by the Australian Government to encourage people to take out private health insurance hospital cover earlier in life and to maintain their cover.

How does it work?  

You have until 1 July following your 31st birthday to take out hospital cover to avoid LHC.

After this time, you will get a 2% loading on your premiums for every year you didn't have cover after turning 30.

How much extra will I have to pay?

If you take out hospital cover before July 1, following your 31st birthday, you won't have to pay any LHC loading.

If you take out hospital cover after this time, you will need to pay an 2% loading for every year you didn't have cover (capped at 70% for age 65).

This age based loading will be removed after 10 years of continuous cover. To determine your individual loading, use the Lifetime Health Cover Calculator.

FAQs for Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading

No, there are some circumstances where you don't have to pay LHC.

  • If you are a new migrant aged over 31, you will not have LHC if you take out hospital cover within 12 months of being registered for Medicare. Learn more
  • If you were born before 1 July 1934
  • There are some special considerations for members of the Australian Defence Force and Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card holders. Learn more

If you think an exception applies to you, please contact our customer service team.

If you are over 31 and hold hospital cover (either with or without LHC loading) you are eligible to access 'permitted days without hospital cover'. You can be without it for a total of 1094 days (permitted days without hospital cover) during your lifetime without affecting your loading. 

Are there breaks that do not count towards my permitted days? 

  • Yes, if your health fund agrees you can suspend your cover, this will not count towards your permitted days. Learn more
  • If you go overseas for more than a year, your absence will not counted (you can also return for up to 90 days). Learn more

If you have used all your 1094 days of absence without hospital cover and decide to take out hospital cover again, you will need to pay your current age LHC loading amount.

Your LHC loading will be removed after ten years of continuous hospital cover.

You can break up your 10 years of continuous hospital cover with any of the ‘permitted days without cover’ but during this time those days will not be counted towards your ten years. Learn more

For a couple or family policy, the amount added to your premium is the average of both your individual loadings. Learn more

Example: For a couple policy, if one adult has a loading of 16% and the other has no loading, the LHC amount for the policy would be 8%.

From the date it was introduced, anyone who joins hospital cover with a registered health fund, will be given a Base Day or Certified Age at Entry (CAE). This Base Day represents your age when taking out hospital cover and is used to determine your LHC loading. Learn more

Are you turning 31 and considering hospital cover? 

If you're turning 31, it's not too late to take out hospital cover and avoid LHC loading. GMHBA have a range of hospital covers to suit your needs.

Need some help?

Can't find what you are looking for? Visit our help page or contact our friendly customer service team.