Do I need health insurance if I'm turning 31?

A general guide to health insurance if you're entering your thirties.

What you need to know about health insurance

You may need to think about health insurance as you get older, and 30 is an age where Lifetime Health Cover loading becomes a consideration. Below is a general guide to health insurance if you're about to turn 31.

What happens if I don't have health insurance over 31?

When you turn 31 you may need to consider getting hospital cover because of Lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC).

Lifetime Health Cover is an Australian government initiative designed to encourage people to get their hospital cover early and keep it up.

If you're an Australian resident, you have until 1 July following your 31st birthday to take out hospital cover otherwise a 2% Lifetime Health Cover loading may be added to your premium for every year you haven't held hospital cover, once you take it out. The maximum loading is 70%.

Any loading that applies to your premium will be removed after you've held hospital cover continuously for 10 years. However, the loading may be reapplied if you then cease to hold hospital cover and subsequently take it up again.

There are also special rules that apply to people who fall under a Lifetime Health Cover exemption category. For more information, please refer to our application for exemption from Lifetime Health Cover Loading form.

More information: How does lifetime health cover work?

Should I get hospital cover or pay Lifetime Health Cover loading?

The decision is up to you but it's good to understand how Lifetime Health Cover loading is applied.

For example, Andrew waits until 35 to get hospital cover. Lifetime Health Cover loading for Andrew will be 10%. So, Andrew's $100 monthly hospital premium would now become $110 with the loading added.

Plus, getting hospital cover doesn't just mean you could avoid paying Lifetime Health Cover loading after turning 31. Hospital cover may give you peace of mind in your day-to-day and help if the unexpected happens.

More information: What is hospital cover?

Do I need Extras cover too?

Extras cover is for services generally not covered by Medicare, such as dental, glasses and physiotherapy.

Ultimately it is up to you if you would like to purchase Extras with your hospital cover but having Extras cover does not change your Lifetime Health Cover Loading.

More information: Are extras worth it?

What if I earn over $93K?

To encourage Australians to take out private hospital cover and relieve stress on the public system, the government imposes an additional levy on the income of those without private hospital cover. This levy is known as the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

More information: Medicare Levy Surcharge Calculator

Ready to get started?

Choosing the right cover

With so many options to choose from, picking the right cover can be overwhelming but we've kept it simple.

Useful resources 

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What are the common hospital procedures for someone like you?

Our interactive tool reveals the common procedures, what you might pay out-of-pocket and how health insurance could help manage the costs.

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How much extra tax could you pay without hospital cover?

Use the Medicare Levy Surcharge Calculator to find out if you're eligible, or discover how much extra tax you may be paying by not having Hospital cover for a full tax year.#

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Understanding Health Insurance

Health insurance can be tricky to understand. To help, we have put some handy guides together to get you started.

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Things you need to know

# This calculation is a guide only. For a more detailed quote of what you might pay we recommend speaking to a financial advisor who will be able to take into account your income and personal situation. Where annual income for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes is over $93,000 as a single (or $186,000 as a couple/family).