How to claim the rebate
Permanent residents who are eligible for Medicare and are members of HBF, no matter what their level of cover, are eligible for the rebate (percentage depending on income tier). The rebate applies to both hospital and general treatment (extras) policies.
There are two ways to claim the rebate:
- Ask us to provide the rebate as a premium reduction.
- Claim it back on your tax return, using a statement that we can provide at the end of the financial year.
If your employer has paid your premium on your behalf, you are still entitled to claim the rebate.
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC)
LHC is a government initiative designed to encourage people to take out hospital insurance earlier in life and to maintain their cover.
As a new migrant to Western Australia, if you are aged 31 or over, you will not have to pay a LHC loading if you take out private hospital insurance within 12 months of being registered for Medicare. After this time you will have to pay 2% more for each year you are aged over 30 when you take out private hospital insurance.
For example, if you take out hospital cover at age 40, you will pay 20% more than someone who first took out hospital cover at age 30. The maximum loading is 70%.
Once you have paid a LHC loading on your private hospital insurance for ten continuous years, the loading is removed as long as you retain your hospital cover.
Medicare Levy Surcharge
The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is levied on payers of Australian tax who do not have appropriate private hospital cover and who earn above a certain income. The MLS aims to encourage individuals to take out private hospital cover and where possible, to use the private system to reduce the demand on the public system.
Be aware when selecting your private hospital cover and be sure to pick one that exempts you from the MLS. All levels of HBF Hospital or Package cover do so.
Private health insurance can actually be cheaper than paying the mandatory MLS. For example, if you are single and earn between $90,001-$105,000, or a couple or family with a household income between $180,001-$210,000, you have two options3:
- You can pay the 1% MLS, which is 1% of your annual income (a minimum of $900) and get your health treatment through the public system; OR
- You can get private hospital cover with a 18.547% rebate from $748.704pa, gain access to treatment at a private hospital – and save yourself money as well!
The MLS is income tested based on the following tiers: