To help relieve the strain on the public hospital system, the Australian Government created three financial incentives: a rebate, a tax, and a loading. These initiatives encourage people to buy hospital insurance and go to private hospitals for treatment. Think of them as a ‘carrot and two sticks’.
What is the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance?
The rebate is a carrot. It’s a partial refund given to people who take out health insurance. It’s designed to help make health insurance more affordable.
RELATED: Australian Government Rebate explained
What is the Medicare Levy Surcharge?
The MLS is a stick. If you’re a high-income earner and you don’t have hospital insurance, this is a tax you might pay when you lodge your tax return. It’s designed to encourage people to buy hospital insurance and go private instead of public.
RELATED: Medicare Levy Surcharge explained
What is Lifetime Health Cover Loading?
The LHC loading is the second stick. It’s an extra cost applied to a hospital premium, making it more expensive. It only applies to people 31 or older who buy hospital insurance after the loading deadline. It’s designed to encourage people to buy hospital insurance earlier in life and maintain that cover.
RELATED: Lifetime Health Cover Loading explained