For years, many Australians have felt compelled to take out health insurance before 30 June. Perhaps they think that if they don’t, they may have to pay more in tax.
So, what’s the truth? It’s different for all of us, but here are the short answers:
Even if you don’t review your cover this year, you still may not need to stress about the end of June. Here’s why.
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) only affects those with hospital cover
Here’s a crash course in LHC loading. If you don’t take out hospital cover before 1 July following your 31st birthday, you’ll pay more for health insurance when you eventually take out cover. How much more? Two percent for every year you neglect to get covered. However, the loading only affects those who take out cover – not the uninsured.
So, when you turn 30, ask yourself the following question. ‘At some point in my life, will I take out hospital cover?’ If the answer is yes, then it’s worth taking out cover before the loading affects you. If the answer is no, then you don’t have to worry about this at all.
Medicare Levy Surcharge only affects higher income earners
If you earn more than $90,000 on your own, or $180,000 as a couple/family, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) – unless you fall into one of the few exemption categories.
If you do not earn this much annually, then the MLS will not affect you this year (although you still have to pay the Medicare Levy).
Private Health Insurance Rebate cuts the cost of your health insurance bill
The Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate helps regular Australians pay for health cover. It does so by allowing Australians who earn less than $140,000 per year (or couples/families earning less than $280,000) to claim a portion of their insurance premiums back.
Best of all, you qualify for the rebate with any type of health insurance: hospital or extras.
Why switch health insurance before the end of financial year?
The question remains, why go to the effort of switching or taking out health insurance at this time of the year? For some, it’s entirely possible the health insurance policy you’re currently enjoying is the best available. If that’s true, and none of the below points apply to you, stay with your current fund!
Before you make your decision, consider the following.
- A new product or health fund may have entered the market during the year. Such policies may offer better value than your existing policy – you won’t know until you look.
- Your circumstances may have changed. For example, perhaps you’re considering starting a family, or you’re eager to finally fix your teeth with a set of braces.
- Waiting periods don’t apply when you move to lesser or the same level of cover, although be careful when upgrading to higher levels of cover.
- The paperwork is handled for you. Eighteen percent of surveyed Aussies reported that switching providers was too complicated, confusing, or just plain difficult (IPSOS Mori, 2015). When you use our service, we deal with all the paperwork. In addition, waiting periods you’ve already sat through will carry over, your LHC status remains unchanged, and any eligible rebates continue to apply.
Dial our number to chat through your options with an expert, or compare online to get a quote in minutes!