There are many lifetime loading calculators in Australia, which can be found online at a multitude of websites. If you’ve come to this page wanting to use such a tool, Fair Health Care Alliance recommends the LHC calculator hosted by privatehealth.gov.au.
A word of warning: the result may not be 100% accurate.
Many factors determine the loading of any Australian. The first is age. LHC accumulates at a rate of 2% per year for every year over the age of 30. For example, if the applicant is 36 years old and never held hospital cover, their certified age of entry (CAE) is 36, and their LHC penalty is 12% (6 years at 2% per year = 12%).
If you’re already a little bit lost, you should probably take a couple of minutes of your day to give us a ring.
The next determining factor on LHC is how many compounding years the applicant may have held hospital cover after the age of 30 or since June 1st, 2000. Lifetime Health Cover loading pauses when an Australian citizen or permanent resident takes up a private hospital insurance product. This affects the persons Certified Age of Entry (CAE), particularly for applicants who have had health insurance on and off over the years.
A similar rule applies when leaving the country; LHC penalties do not accrue for years spent abroad. For every year the person spent overseas for any time longer than a holiday (circa 90 days), Lifetime Health Cover Loading is not accrued. This can be particularly complex to calculate if the person has travelled in and out of the country for any significant amount of time.
Finally, to make it all that smidge more complex, the LHC percentage applied to a Couple or Family policy is the average of the two adults. So if one adult has a loading of 28% and the second adult has a loading of 20%, the LHC applied to the policy will be an average of 24%.
If you find yourself in any of the scenario’s described above, the health insurance company you apply for isn’t just going to take your word for it – you need to supply proof.
For anyone who has held private hospital cover with different health insurers on and off over the years, you need to contact your most recent health fund and ask them to provide you with a Clearance Certificate. The Clearance Certificate has a running list of your entire health insurance history, which they can then use to calculate your correct LHC lifetime loading.
Keep in mind, once any Australian has reached a total of ten years of holding a private hospital cover policy, their Lifetime Health Cover loading is eliminated and reverted to 0%. The ten years can be accumulated over different periods with gaps in cover in-between and with varying health funds along the way. This is why your clearance certificates are vital when proving your health insurance history.
For those who have been overseas for any significant amount of time after the age of 30, you will need to apply for a 1359 Movement Statement directly with the Department of Immigration. Once the statement arrives in the post, you can forward it to your new health fund and have your Lifetime health loading reduced.
To sum it up, LHC loading calculators are a helpful online tool if your situation is straightforward enough. The reality is, most of us will find it much more reliable to phone a health insurance adviser and let them ask all the important questions to help you determine if you have any Lifetime Health Cover Loading penalties and what they might be.
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