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Government incentives to get health insurance

You've probably heard that the government offers financial incentives for people who purchase private health insurance. Here's how they work.

Government subsidies

The Australian Government may subsidise the cost of your health cover, depending on your age and how much you earn. This is called the Australian Government Rebate (AGR). If you're eligible for the AGR, it can be claimed in one of two ways:

  1. As an upfront reduction on your premium, or
  2. At the end of the financial year, when you lodge your tax return.

Learn more about the Australian Government Rebate.


  Base tier Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Income thresholds
Singles  Up to $90,000 $90,001 - $105,000 $105,001 - $140,000 $140,001 and above
Families Up to $180,000 $180,001 - $210,000 $210,000 - $280,000 $280,001 and above
Rebate entitlement - based on age and income as of 1 April 2018*
Less than 65 years 25.415% 16.943% 8.471% 0%
65 - 69 years
29.651% 21.180% 12.707% 0%
70 years+ 33.887% 25.415% 16.943% 0%


Get cover sooner to avoid extra costs

Once you turn 30, a 2% loading is added to your hospital cover premiums for every year you’re without cover. This charge is called Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. The good news is you have until July 1 following your 31st birthday to sign up, and keep up your hospital cover, and avoid an LHC loading.

Learn more about Lifetime Health Cover loading.

Avoid government charges

Having hospital cover could save you money. If you don’t have private hospital cover and you earn more than $90,000 (or $180,000 for families), the Australian Tax Office may add an extra charge to your tax bill. It’s called the Medicare Levy Surcharge and it could be up to 1.5% of your income. This may end up being more than the cost of getting hospital cover.

Learn more about the Medicare Levy Surcharge.