PHI 27/17 Lifetime Health Cover Mail Out 2017

Page last updated: 31 May 2017

PDF version: PHI 27/17 Lifetime Health Cover Mail Out 2017 (PDF 46 KB)

Further to the notification provided in the Department’s weekly update to health insurers, the purpose of this circular is to formally advise that the 2017 Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) mail out was lodged with Australia Post on Friday 5 May 2017.

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 provide information to Australians about LHC. Each year, a courtesy letter and LHC fact sheet is mailed to people who have registered for Medicare and are approaching 1July following their 31st birthday.

New migrants who have registered for Medicare and already reached 1 July following their 31st birthday, have up to 12 months from Medicare registration to purchase private health insurance hospital cover, should they wish to do so, without incurring a financial loading.

The 2017 mail out was sent to 79,621 new migrants and 204,307 Australian citizens who turned or will turn 31 years of age before 1 July 2017.

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).