Media Release

1 July deadline looms but 12.7m confused about Lifetime Health Cover loading

  • 31 year-olds have under a week left to take out private health insurance
  • 73% of Generation Ys clueless about the LHC
  • Take out private health insurance to avoid the 2% annual loading

25 June 2018, Sydney, Australia – With under a week left for 31 year olds to avoid the 1 July Lifetime Health Cover Loading deadline, the majority of young Australians have no idea what this means, reveals new research from finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

In fact, the finder.com.au survey of 2,033 Australians found that 73% of Generation Y – the equivalent of 3.9 million people – don’t understand what the Lifetime Health Cover Loading is.

Nationally, over three in five (67%) are out of the loop – equating to over 12.7 million Australians.

The loading kicks in when you turn 31 and adds 2% annually to your eventual premium if you don’t have hospital cover.

For example, someone taking out insurance at 45 will pay 30% more when they get their cover. On the average single hospital cover of $2,112 per year, that’s an enormous $634 more they’ll have to pay per year - or $6,336 over the course of the 10 year loading period.

This year, over 370,000 Australian 31 year-olds are susceptible, and the 1 July deadline for taking out cover is looming.

Bessie Hassan, Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, says it’s concerning so many Australians don’t understand how Lifetime Health Cover Loading works – and how it could affect their future finances.

“The Lifetime Health Cover Loading can add up to 70% on top of a person’s health insurance premium, which could end up being thousands of dollars for some, depending on when the cover is taken out.

“Not only do the majority of Australians not understand what the Lifetime Health Cover Loading is, but they could actually be paying for it without realising.”

Almost one million Aussies (965,045) aged between 31-65 are already paying the Lifetime Health Cover Loading, according to a finder.com.au analysis of APRA data.

This equates to over $480 million already being spent on the loading, assuming they are on an average hospital policy priced at $2,112.

Ms Hassan also warns young Australians not to be lured in by shiny health fund incentives.

“At this time of year there is a plethora of health insurance deals available to entice new members.

“Some health funds are offering six weeks free if you sign up in June, while others are rewarding new members with cash cards.

“It’s important to remember that health insurance can be a big expense. A voucher may seem enticing but it might not be worth it in the long run.”

Take finder’s Do I need health insurance?” quiz to find out whether you need cover.

How to get the best deal on your health insurance:

  • Compare policies online: Use finder.com.au’s comparison engine to find the best deal.
  • Don’t pay for cover you don’t need: Review your needs and look for a policy that supports them. If you’re 70, you don’t need to be paying for pregnancy cover.
  • Mix and match policies: For a policy tailored specifically to your needs at a competitive price, you could be better off taking out hospital cover with one insurer an extras cover with a different health fund.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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