PHI 35/16

Page last updated: 05 May 2016

PDF version: PHI 35/16 - Lifetime Health Cover Mail Out 2016 (PDF 95 KB)

PHI 35/16 - Lifetime Health Cover Mail Out 2016
05 May 2016

The purpose of this circular is to advise that the 2016 Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) Mailout will commence from Friday 6 May 2016.

LHC is a Government initiative that started on 1 July 2000. LHC encourages people to take out private hospital insurance earlier in life, and to maintain their cover. In Australia, private health insurance is not ‘risk-rated’ like most forms of insurance. Private health insurers cannot refuse to insure any person, and must charge everyone the same premium for the same level of cover, despite their risk profile and likelihood of using health services.

LHC is a legislated financial loading applied to private hospital insurance premiums. Under LHC, Australians who do not have hospital cover before 1 July following their 31st birthday will pay an additional 2 per cent of hospital cover premiums every year they delay – up to a maximum of 70 per cent.

The Department of Health together with Department of Human Services (Medicare) provide information to Australians about LHC. Each year, a courtesy letter is mailed to people who are registered for Medicare and approaching 1 July following their 31st birthday.

Migrants entering Australia after 1 July following their 31st birthday are given a 12 month grace period from when they are registered as eligible for full Medicare benefits to take out private health insurance hospital cover, should they wish to do so, before a LHC loading becomes applicable.

It is estimated that the 2016 mailout will target approximately 202,060 Australian citizens and 73,797 new migrants. Mailout recipients will be sent a personalised letter with a factsheet advising them of their LHC base day and providing information on LHC.

Norfolk Island Residents can refer to circular:
PHI 26/16 - Private Health Insurance and Norfolk Island.

Further information about private health insurance and LHC can be found on the Private Health website ( or by calling the LHC hotline on 1800 307 446 (free call).