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What is LHC?
The Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading is an Australian Government initiative. It’s been designed to encourage more people to take out hospital cover sooner rather than later and help ease the reliance on the public system.
How does it work?
If you don’t have hospital cover by 1 July following your 31st birthday and choose to take it out later in life, a loading of 2% will be added to your hospital cover premium for each year you were aged over 30 without it.
Good question. If you’re on couples or families cover the loading is calculated by taking the average loading applied to the adults listed on the policy. For example, if you have a 10% loading but your partner has no loading, the loading applied to your joint policy will be 5%.
No, it doesn’t. If you choose a combined hospital and extras product the LHC loading will only be applied to the hospital cover portion of your policy.
Once you have an LHC loading it will need to be paid on your hospital cover premium for 10 continuous years. Your LHC loading will then remain at 0% as long as you retain your hospital cover. If you drop your cover after 10 years, a LHC loading may be reapplied when you take up hospital cover again.
When you move funds, your LHC loading goes with you. If you’re switching to Medibank from another fund it’s a good idea to maintain your hospital cover up until your transfer date, to avoid using any of your permitted days without hospital cover unnecessarily (see more on permitted days below).
If you’re away from Australia for more than one continuous year (including trips back that are less than 90 days at a time) the days you are away will not count towards your 1,094 permitted Days of Absence without hospital cover.
Yes, you can avoid the LHC loading you will have to pay if you take out hospital cover after you turn 31 by taking out Medibank hospital cover by July 1 following your 31st birthday, but with Medibank you also get a trusted health partner here to support you when and if you need it.
If your health fund agrees to suspend your membership, this period isn't counted towards your 1,094 permitted Days of Absence. If you have a LHC loading, it will not increase while your hospital cover is suspended.
Sometimes things happen and you may need to stop your hospital cover for whatever reason. If you held hospital cover, on or after your LHC base day (being 1 July following your 31st birthday), you are entitled to be without hospital cover for a total of 1,094 Days of Absence during your lifetime without affecting your LHC loading.
If you exceed 1,094 days without hospital cover, you’ll more than likely have to pay a LHC loading once you take out hospital cover again. If you were already paying a LHC loading, the continuity of your 10-year period of cover will be broken and you will have to pay a higher LHC loading if you take out hospital cover again.
We’ve addressed some of the most commonly raised questions about the LHC loading above. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, give us a call on 134 190 and one of our staff members will happily talk you through it.
Choosing hospital cover for your needs?
Here's a taste of what we can offer.
Prices below are based on
This is used to calculate any Australian Government Rebate (AGR) you may be entitled to.If you’re unsure how to calculate your income, this ATO calculator can help.
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Unlimited Emergency Ambulance
No matter which hospital or extras policy you choose, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your cover includes unlimited emergency ambulance.²
Accident Cover Boost
Medibank members with hospital cover are eligible for benefits of gold level cover if they have an Accident in Australia after joining, thanks to our Accidental Injury Benefit.¹
24/7 Nurse and Mental Health Phone Support
Eligible members with hospital cover can talk to a qualified nurse or mental health professional over the phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no extra cost.³
One of the largest health provider networks in Australia
We’ll help you make the most of your cover, with access to more than 470 Members’ Choice hospitals and more than 17,000 Members’ Choice extras provider locations.
Things you should know
¹ For Accidents that occur in Australia after your cover starts. Must seek medical treatment within 7 days, and receive hospital treatment within 12 months, of the Accident occurring. Excludes claims covered by third parties and our Private Room Promise. Out-of-pocket expenses may apply.
² Waiting periods apply. For ambulance attendance or transportation to a hospital where immediate medical attention is required and your condition is such that you couldn't be transported any other way. Tas and Qld have State schemes that provide ambulance servies for residents of those States.
³ 24/7 Medibank Nurse and Mental Health phone support is available to all eligible Medibank members who hold hospital cover. OSHC members should call the Student Health & Support Line on 1800 887 283.
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