What Age Do You Need Health Insurance in Australia?

What Age Do You Need Health Insurance in Australia?

One of the main health insurance questions Billy Explores often gets asked is “what age do you need health insurance in Australia”? Of course, health insurance at any age is worthwhile, however you may not need to take out a health insurance policy on your own if you’re under 25 years of age. Here Billy Explores gives you some information so you can compare health insurance options that are right for you and factors that could influence your decision re what age you actually do need health insurance.

Turning 31 – Do I Need Health Insurance?

If you’re turning 31 you should definitely consider checking out health insurance policies and both Hospital and Extras Insurance. If you haven’t got one by then, you could be spending more money than you need to down the track. This is due to the Australian Government’s Lifetime Health Cover Loading.

Government’s Lifetime Health Cover Loading

To encourage people to take out private health insurance earlier in life, the Federal Government implemented what is called a Lifetime Health Cover Loading (LHC Loading). For every year after you turn 31 and don’t have health insurance, you will pay an extra 2% on your health insurance premiums for when you finally get a health insurance policy.

The LHD Loading is only applicable on Hospital Insurance, not Extras Insurance. So definitely worthwhile getting a health insurance policy before then to save money down the track!

Medicare Levy Surcharge

Another health insurance question we often get is “What about the Medicare Levy Surcharge? At tax time, the Government adds a surcharge percentage called the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you earn above a certain income and don’t have private health insurance. This can be at any age.

So if you look like you’re going to be earning more than $90,000 as a single or $180,000 as a couple and you don’t have private health insurance, it’s worthwhile checking out the health insurance deals available, otherwise you could be paying more at tax time!

Below is the percentage surcharge added (for 30 June 2021)

Singles
Families
≤$90,000
≤$180,000
$90,001-105,000
$180,001-210,000
$105,001-140,000
$210,001-280,000
≥$140,001
≥$280,001
Medicare Levy Surcharge
All ages 0.0% 1.0% 1.25% 1.5%

What About If I’m Under 31?

You still have lots of hospital and extras health insurance policy options available to you, and you may not have to pay health insurance premiums yourself! Another one of the important health insurance questions we get asked is if under 31s can be included on another policy.

If you’re aged under 21 you can normally be included on your parent’s health insurance policy. This is also true if you’re a full-time student and under 25 years of age. These do vary between funds, so make sure you check out the fine print.

What Factors Do I Need To Consider If I’m Under 31?

Of course, there are a lot of factors to consider if you’re thinking about taking out a health insurance policy before you’re 31. For example, you may play competitive sport and want security that you won’t have to wait for surgery under the Medicare or public hospital system. A hospital insurance policy will cover you for what normally is a quicker surgery in a private hospital if the unexpected happens.

Also, you may be wanting to start a family in your early or late 20s. It’s a good idea if you’re planning a family to get a hospital and extra insurance policy sooner rather than later with the right extras to cover you for your pregnancy and birth (ie, private hospital birth). Most providers require a waiting period before you start getting the cover so you’ll need to get a suitable health insurance policy with the appropriate hospital and extras insurance even before you start trying for a baby!

Even after 31, it’s definitely important to have the appropriate health insurance inclusions and sit out any waiting periods if you’re wanting to start a family – make sure you ask your provider and check out the fine print!

Also, don’t forget you could be paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge at any age.

Compare Health Insurance Deals Now

Of course, it’s a great idea to compare health insurance deals at any age, and this is where Billy Explores can help! Through Billy Explores, you’ll be able to access a range of Hospital and Extras Insurance policies and compare health insurance deals from our panel of providers. Hopefully you already have health insurance, but by comparing you may be able to get a better deal, or even save money by switching! Compare today!