Lifetime Health Cover loading calculator

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A guide to the Lifetime Health Cover loading

Updated 21 March, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

What is Lifetime Health Cover loading?

Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading is an Australian Government initiative that aims to encourage Australians to take out and maintain private hospital insurance earlier in life. If applicable to you, the loading increases the cost of your hospital policy premiums by a percentage of the base hospital premium for each year that you don’t hold hospital cover following your base day. Your base premium is the cost of your hospital premium before any discounts, rebates or loading, and your base day is the date your LHC loading starts to accrue (typically 1 July following your 31st birthday).

If you purchase an eligible hospital policy before 1 July following your 31st birthday and continue to hold cover, you won’t incur the LHC loading for the length of time you hold hospital insurance.

Expert tips on the Lifetime Health Cover loading

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, knows how important it can be to save a dollar, which is why he’s put together these tips on how to avoid the LHC and get great value from your health insurance.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Avoid repeating waiting periods

If you’ve taken ‘time out’ from having private health cover, some funds will allow the waiting periods you served with your previous fund to transfer across, despite having a gap in cover. Check with your fund, as it’s usually only applicable within a small window (e.g. 30 days since you last held cover) and you may need to follow a process to have your waiting periods applied.

Basic cover might not be enough

When you’re young and healthy, it can be tempting to cover just ‘the basics’, such as accident only cover. However, you may find that the price difference between Basic and Bronze hospital coverage isn’t much over the course of a year, and it will include hundreds more procedures.

Compare your options regularly

Over time, your needs may change. The great thing about private health insurance is you can upgrade your policy at any time and simply serve the relevant waiting periods.

How it works

How does Lifetime Health Cover loading work?

What if I’ve missed my LHC loading deadline?

Special circumstances and exemptions from LHC loading

Does my LHC loading transfer to my new policy when I switch health insurance?

How are couples and families affected by LHC loading?

Can I avoid the LHC if I have an extras-only policy or ambulance cover?

Taking a break from cover

Can I take a break from being covered once I’m older than 31?

What does ‘Days of Absence’ mean?

LHC overseas

What happens if I don’t have hospital cover and will be overseas on my LHC base day?

Can I pause my hospital cover when overseas to avoid LHC loading?

Will I be charged LHC loading if I’m over 31 and moving to Australia as a permanent resident?

Other costs and rebates

How does LHC loading impact your Private Health Insurance Rebate?

What other charges or loadings should I consider?

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.