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A Guide to Health Insurance in your 30’s

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Georgia Carter
Georgia Carter Updated: 23 July 2021
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Once you reach your 30th birthday, the odds are high that you may be thinking about a range of new responsibilities that are just around the corner. This is generally a time in your life where you may be paying more attention to your health as well as your health care requirements. However, this is also a time when certain financial choices, like applying for private health cover, become more important.

When you’re in your 30’s, you’ll typically be in the prime of your life and won’t see the importance of applying for health cover. However, once you turn 31 and you don’t have cover, you’ll be forced to pay an additional 2% loading on top of your premiums when you do decide to apply. You may also be forced to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you earn a higher income and you don’t have any cover in place.

Key facts

  • There are various health care insurance plans and policies to choose from. Hospital policies provides coverage for in-hospital treatments, whereas an Extras policies offers coverage for out-of-hospital health care requirements.
  • You will have to pay an additional 2% lifetime health cover loading fee on top of you annual policy rate if you don’t purchase health insurance in your 30s.
  • You will have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you earn over $90k and do not have health insurance.
  • You can receive several discounts and benefits if you take out health insurance before the age of 30.

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Health cover options

There are many different health cover options you can take out that provide cover for numerous health care services and procedures. Hospital plans provides coverage for in-hospital treatments. Depending on you level of cover, a Hospitals plan can cover surgeries and any procedures or accidents that require treatment in a hospital. Extras Cover, on the other hand, offers coverage for all your out-of-hospital health requirements, such as dental work, eye care, and physical treatment.

Benefits and features of Hospital cover

  • Covers your in-hospital treatments, depending on your level of coverage.
  • Having an eligible policy could help you avoid the Lifetime Health Cover Loading fee.
  • You won’t need to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge fee if you earn more than $90,000.
  • Typically, you’ll be able to choose both your doctor and hospital.
  • You can claim tax refunds on your policy rates.
  • If you’re going for an elective.

Benefits and features of Extras cover

  • Covers the cost of out-of-hospital treatments that are intended to manage or prevent a disease, injury or condition. What you can claim back on depends on your level of coverage.
  • Includes cover for Dental, Optical, Physiotherapy, and Chiropractic treatments.
  • More affordable than Hospitals cover.
  • Some Extras cover comes with benefits that help you save money on health care products and services.
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What happens if I don’t have health insurance over 31?

If you haven’t purchased a health insurance plan or private health before your 31st birthday, you’ll have to pay the additional 2% loading fee on top of your premiums when you do apply for cover later on in your life. Lifetime Health Cover Loading is a government initiative that insist you pay an extra 2% fee for every year you have not purchased health insurance before the age of 31, otherwise known as being the over 30 health insurance tax.

So, if you don’t buy cover in your 30’s and you wait to purchase a Hospital policy when you’re in your 40s you’ll pay more for your cover than other people your age. For instance, if you buy a Basic Hospital policy when you turn 41-years-old, an additional 20% loading fee will be added to your policy. That means you’ll be paying 20% more for your premiums than someone your age who purchased a policy when they were 30-years-old.

Should I get hospital cover or pay Lifetime Health Cover loading?

The Lifetime Health Cover Loading fee continues and lasts for 10 years after purchasing insurance. Depending on when you apply for cover, you may have to pay up to 70% extra on top of your policy rates. With this being the case, it’s typically a good idea to sign up for health cover sooner rather than later. This will ensure that you’re adequately covered and that your cover is as affordable as possible.

What if I earn over $90K?

If you earn $90k or over as a single adult, or earning $180k as a family, you’re going to have to pay a levy if you don’t have health cover. This is an additional 1 1.5% of your annual income that you will have to pay in your tax return. This levy is called the Medicare Levy Surcharge and is put in place to encourage singles and families to purchase necessary health cover. To avoid paying the extra rates, you simply have to take out private health care insurance.

Do you get any discounts for taking out health cover while young?

Depending on which health insurer you purchase a policy from, you’re generally able to receive discounts if you are younger than 30 years old. These discounts can range from 2% to 10% off of your annual policy rates. It is therefore highly recommended that you get health insurance for young adults and take out health cover before the age of 30.

How to find the right Hospital plan for you

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Do your research
If you’re only applying for health cover to avoid paying the LHC loading or the Medicare Levy Surcharge, then you may only need a Basic Hospital cover. Doing a little research will ensure that you get the best policy for your current requirements.
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Compare policies
Most health insurance companies offer a wider range of policy options. To find the right policy for your requirements, it’s typically a good idea to compare all of the options to find a policy that offers the benefits relevant to your stage of life.
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Opt for higher excesses
Many insurers offer you the option to choose which excess you’ll pay should you be hospitalised. By opting for a higher excess, your premiums will generally be lower.
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Pay annually
To save on your health cover costs but take full advantage of having private health cover, you may want to pay your premiums annually before the price increase on the 1st of April. This way, you’ll be able to lock your premiums in at the previous years’ rates. You may also receive additional discounts for paying in advance.
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Combine plans
If you’d like to get affordable private health cover, it may be a good idea to contact your insurer to find out whether you can combine policies. For instance, you may get a discount on your premiums if you combine your Hospital and Extras policy from the same insurer.

Do you need Extras cover too?

Extras Cover tackles all the out-of-hospital health care procedures, such as dental and eye care. It therefore usually covers what Medicare does not. While it is not mandatory to take out Extras Cover, it is might be a good idea as an Extras plan can save you money on numerous health care treatments, procedures, and services that don’t occur within a hospital.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Do you need health insurance before 30?

    While you don’t need to take out health cover before 30 years of age, it is recommended as you will have to pay an additional loading fee of 2% for every year you have not taken out health cover. This can add up over the years and you’ll end up paying more for insurance than if you had taken out health cover in your younger years.
  • At what age do you need your own health insurance?

    After the age of 25, you will no longer be able to remain on your family or parents’ health insurance and will need to purchase your own. It is recommended that you purchase your own health care insurance and policy before the age of 31.
  • Is it cheaper to have private health insurance?

    While it depends on your level of coverage, age, and lifestyle, it can be cheaper to take out private health insurance. Accidents and necessary health care procedures can be extremely costly, but having health insurance can dramatically decrease these costs.
  • What is the best private health insurance?

    There is no top private health insurance company as each differs and better suits the needs of others. The best health insurance provider for you can only be determined after you have analysed your lifestyle, income, and health care needs. Remember to review and compare as many health care insurers and policies before making your final decision.
  • How can I find affordable health insurance?

    You can find affordable health care insurance by reviewing and comparing both companies and the various policies and plans on offer. There are numerous health insurance companies that harbour many different Hospitals and Extras plans. It’s important to analyse your income, lifestyle, and potential health care needs before making your final choice.

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