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Health insurance in your 30s

When you turn 31, you’ll be hit with a government penalty adding 2% on your health premium for every year you don’t have hospital cover.

Why you should consider health insurance when you turn 30

Young woman

Prices will rise after you turn 31

A 2% lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC) is added to your health insurance premium for every year you don't have hospital cover over the age of 30. That fee accumulates, so if you go without hospital insurance until you're 40, you'll be hit with a 20% fee. It also stays in place until you've held hospital insurance for 10 years.

High earner

There's a tax surcharge if you earn over $97k

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is an additional tax that you have to pay if you earn over $97,000 as a single or $194,000 as a family. Depending on how much you make, you'll pay a levy of between 1% and 1.5% of your annual income — that's between $75 and $181 more tax a month.

Compare cheap policies to avoid the LHC and MLS

You only need a basic or bronze health insurance policy to avoid both of these surcharges. That's great news, because these policies tend to be very affordable. Here are a few basic and bronze policies available from Finder partners. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $97,000 income and living in Sydney.

1 - 10 of 14
Name Product Treatments Price Apply
Bupa HI Pty Ltd logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$77.92
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Frank Health Insurance logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$79.88
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Frank Entry Hospital (Basic+)
Basic Plus$750 excess
Frank Health Insurance logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
  • +5 other treatments covered
$82.48
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
starter basic
Basic$750 excess
ahm health insurance logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$82.71
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Bupa HI Pty Ltd logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$82.78
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
GMHBA Limited logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$83.95
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
Bupa HI Pty Ltd logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
  • +8 other treatments covered
$84.51
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
GMHBA Limited logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
  • +5 other treatments covered
$85.23
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
starter basic
Basic$500 excess
ahm health insurance logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$85.76
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
essentials basic plus
Basic Plus$750 excess
ahm health insurance logo
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
  • +5 other treatments covered
$87.04
per month
Go to Site
All treatments
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Finder survey: How many Australians of different ages understand how health insurance works?

Response75+ yrs65-74 yrs55-64 yrs45-54 yrs35-44 yrs25-34 yrs18-24 yrs
Yes65.91%62.21%56.52%54.44%59.46%60%47.06%
Somewhat34.09%35.47%39.13%41.42%37.84%36.32%44.71%
No2.33%4.35%4.14%2.7%3.68%8.24%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

How much you can save by getting hospital cover before 31

You can avoid the lifetime health cover loading penalty by taking out basic hospital insurance with an excess of $750 or less for singles before 1 July following your 31st birthday.

Let's put that in real terms. Say a health insurance policy is available for $600 per year. If you wait to take out your first policy at 40 it's going to cost you 20% more than that – $720 per year.

Here are a few more examples:

AgeLoadingCost of coverYou've had cover since 31If this is your first hospital cover
3510%$600$600$660
4020%$650$650$780
5040%$700$700$980
6060%$800$800$1280

Other benefits for health insurance in your 30s

Health insurance offers a lot more than just the ability to avoid additional taxes and surcharges. For people in their 30s, there arelots of ways you can benefit from the right health insurance policy. You can roughly divide those benefits into extras and hospital cover.

extras cover

Extras cover

Dental Coverage: Dental services aren't covered under Medicare for most people, but are super important for 30-somethings. An extras policy with general dental coverage will cover post preventative treatments, while major dental is what you'll need for coverage for things like major surgery and braces.

Optical: Have glasses? If so, optical coverage is going to be super useful for you, and can cover the cost of prescription and contact lenses.

Physiotherapy: As we get older, things start to go wrong with our bodies, especially if we exercise regularly! Extras coverage can chip in on the cost of regular physio sessions.

Healthy lifestyle: Lots of extras policies are increasingly offering benefits for the costs involved in staying healthy through your life, which can prevent health problems down the line. This can include benefits for gym memberships, pilates, quit smoking aids and more.

hospital cover

Hosptial cover

Bone, joint and muscle treatment: In your 30's you're probably still staying active, and issues with your bones, joints and muscles are likely to start cropping up. All bronze policies include cover for private bone, joint and muscle treatments, including joint reconstructions.

Gynaecology, miscarriage and pregnancy termination: If they are relevant to you, these services are covered under all bronze hospital policies. These can be more and more important for people in their 30s, so may be worth considering cover for.

Pregnancy: If you're thinking of having a baby and you'd like to access the benefits of the private system, you'it's worth considering a silver or gold hospital policy that covers pregnancy and childbirth.

Ambulance: Most hosptial, extras and combined policies include cover for emergency Ambulance transport, which is not covered under Medicare in most states.

Grab a great sign-up deal this July 2024

If you're ready to jump into a new health insurance policy, one of the best ways to start is with a sign-up deal. Here are a few of the best sign-up deals that are currently live from Finder partners.

Name Product

Want 6 weeks free and $500 in gift cards (couples/families) or $250 in gift cards (singles/single parents) when you join & maintain eligible Bronze Hospital+Extras or above?

Ends 31 July 2024

New members only. T&Cs apply. Excludes Basic covers. Ends 31 July 2024.


Earn up to 120,000 Qantas Points

Ends 13 September 2024

Plus, get 60-75% back on Extras (up to your annual limit) for things like dental, physio and glasses costs. Points will be awarded based on your level of cover over 6 months. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.


HCF members can get loyalty rewards and discounts across Australian stores

Health fund members can get discounted e-Gift cards from Apple & more.


Join Bupa and get up to 10 weeks free on eligible products

Plus, 2&6 month waiting periods waived on extras. Domestic policies only. Terms and conditions apply.


Get up to 8 weeks free

Ends 02 September 2024

For new joins by Sep 2 who maintain eligible combined hospital & extras. T&Cs apply. Learn more.


Get 6 weeks free extras cover

For new joins who maintain eligible extras. T&Cs apply. Learn more.


Want a $50 gift card when you join & maintain eligible Extras?

Plus, get 2&6 month waits waived on extras. New members only. T&Cs apply. Excludes Healthy Living Extras.


Get up to 12 weeks free

Ends 15 July 2024

Plus, skip 2 & 6 months waits on extras when joining combined cover by 15 July. T&Cs apply.

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Frequently asked questions

Alex Holderness's headshot
Publisher

As Finder's insurance group publisher, Alex Holderness aims to make confusing topics easy to understand. She's been published in Money Mag, Yahoo Finance, Hospital Health, and is a contributing author for Google's Startup Grind. She has a keen passion for running and is currently studying for her General Insurance certification. See full bio

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Insurance Expert

Tim Bennett is a Finder insurance & utilities expert. For over 10 years he's reported on news, politics, finance and other topics as a journalist and radio presenter. Tim's roles have included radio news reader and breakfast at the ABC, news producer for SBS and producer for Fairfax Media. Tim regularly appears as a health insurance expert on programs like Sunrise and SBS news, as well as in the Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and more. See full bio

Tim's expertise
Tim has written 116 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal finance
  • Financial comparison
  • Heath insurance
  • General insurance
  • Life insurance

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