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How to cancel your private health cover

What you need to know before cancelling your membership with Medibank.

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Cancelling your health cover is a big decision; not only will it mean you are going without the support of the private health system, but it could also involve paying additional taxes. And if you decide to take out private cover with any insurer again in the future, you may face re-starting waiting periods and paying more in premiums.

Here are the things worth considering before you make your final decision:

Is your cover still right for you?

Before anything, we recommend asking yourself these questions to work out if you’re getting what you need from your current cover. Perhaps we can help find a cover that suits you better.

It’s easy to set-and-forget your cover without regularly reflecting on how your health is changing – what was right for you six months ago, might not be the best fit for now – which can lead to you feeling like you aren’t getting what you need from your cover.

Consider your future needs

Speaking of how quickly things can change, it’s worth thinking about what you might want cover for down the track. Take a look at our interactive tool that reveals the common procedures that our members are going to hospital for. The results are based on our past claims data based on age and gender – and they might surprise you!

Have you been making the most of your cover?

The best way to get value from your cover is to use it to your advantage – even if you’re fit and healthy, your Medibank membership offers some great ways to be proactive about maintaining your health while also keeping your wallet happy.

Members with extras cover that have served the required waiting periods can enjoy 100% back on an annual dental check-up (excluding x-rays) at a Members’ Choice dentist; and 100% back on optical items at all recognised providers Australia-wide.#

Read more: Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your Medibank membership.

#Excludes some items. Up to annual limits.

What about waiting periods?

If you cancel your private health cover now and then decide to take it up again in the future, you’ll most likely have to re-serve all of your waiting periods again, regardless of the health fund you choose.

All health funds have waiting periods that must be served before you can receive benefits for services or items covered. There’s minimum two month waiting period for most of their services and up to 12, 24 and 36 months for others.

Read more: What are waiting periods?

You might have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) applies to people (including their dependants) who don’t hold an appropriate level of private hospital cover and earn over $90,000 a year as a single, or $180,000 as a couple/family*, and can be as much as 1.5% of your annual income.

If you maintain your hospital cover, you can avoid this extra tax.

Read more: What is the MLS and how it is calculated?

*The family income threshold is increased by $1,500 for each dependent child after the first child. Single parent families are subject to the family income tiers.

The Lifetime Health Cover loading could come into effect

Lifetime Health Cover loading is an Australian Government scheme designed to encourage people to take out hospital cover by the time they are 31. For those without hospital cover beyond 1 July following their 31st birthday, they stand to pay an additional 2% loading on premiums for each year they haven’t held hospital cover, once they do take it out. The maximum loading is 70%.

Read more: What is Lifetime Health Cover Loading?

You can press pause

You may be able to suspend your Medibank membership if you’re travelling overseas or if you’re experiencing financial hardship. You won’t be able to make claims, but you also won’t have to pay premiums for the agreed suspension time.

How to cancel

After reading this article if you’d still like to cancel your private health cover with Medibank, please call 132 331 or visit your nearest Medibank store.

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