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Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Old Jan 12th 2009, 3:28 pm
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Default Lifetime Health Cover Loading

I posted this in the barbie earlier today, but not sure that is the best place so putting in main australia folder (is that what is called the lounge?)

LIFETIME HEALTH COVER LOADING
Help Please.

I gather new migrants get a 12 month exemption from the over 30 rule.

I would be grateful if you would tell me "what you have had to produce to your health insurance providers to prove they are new migrants?"

I got the following from GMHBA but it sounds like they might be confusing me with an Australian who has travelled overseas. I tried looking for "passport activity statements" but can't find any information on them on the internet.

"....if you were not in Australia and haven't been back in the country longer than 90 days at a time since 01/07/2000 then you will need to supply us with a passport activity statement obtainable from the department of imagration and providing you take up cover within 12 months of being back in Australia then you will be exempt of the levy."

Also, has anyone taken out private health insurance before they arrive in Australia? If so, what documents did you need to provide? It may seem odd to want to pay premiums before I arrive, but if I get continuity between my UK provider and my Australian provider I should be exempt from the 12 month waiting periods for any illnesses that I have claimed for before.

very many thanks for your help.
Sarah
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

This should help - http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ma...rs-general.htm

Also http://britishexpats.com/forum/showt...+health&page=2 - particularly post #19.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Hi Louie
Thank you very much for those urls. I had seen both before, but can't see anything about what documentation is required as proof - am I missing something? But thanks anyhow, the more info the better. I need to look into giving you something (is it karma?!), but not that au fait with this site, so I'll try to find out.
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Old Jan 12th 2009, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Hi

We were told that you have 12 months from the date you registered with Medicare to qualify and we simply had to provide the original letter that came with our Medicare cards as evidence.
As we are both 40, we could not have afforded the health insurenace without this rebate!

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Old Jan 13th 2009, 5:36 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Medicare and the bureaucrats are pretty confused about the exemption - or were, when we got it. Best to get it done ASAP in case there are any holdups.

BTW, if you were with BUPA in the UK, MBF will take you on without any waiting period. At least, they did four years ago and BUPA have now taken MBF over so I would imagine that continues.
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Old Jan 13th 2009, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

You need to call into your local Medicare office and ask them for a letter stating when you arrived in the country. They did it for me while I waited and seemed to know what it was I needed straight away. Think it's a regular request. You then send this to your insurer. I did this myself a couple of weeks ago.
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Old Jan 23rd 2009, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Shorey, Sammy and Wol, thank you very much for teh advice on medicare letter and sorting it ASAP! Very useful, will do that once I arrive.

I am with Standard Life in the UK. Unfortunately is not part of the "International Federation of Health Funds", so i have so far only found one Australian company thatt will recognise them - GMHBA.

Anyone got any experience of GMHBA? I am looking on their website for their coverage.

Sarah
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Old Jan 23rd 2009, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Hi
We recently took out health insurance as we are in mid - late forties.

I may be wrong, but I thought that the joining medicare letter enabled you to get the 30% government rebate on your insurance contributions.

They will probably check when you arrived in the country from your passport info (via immigration) - hence avoiding LHC if you have been in for less than a year.

There were some confusing questions / requirements about periods in and out the country etc which required "passport activity statements". We only got our visa in Feb 08, so I sent a copy of the visa grant letter and was not asked for anything else.

Something you could do is go to medibank private and start an application
http://www.medibank.com.au/ you can go a fair way through it before you are commited

Last edited by carlap; Jan 23rd 2009 at 10:29 pm.
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Old Jan 23rd 2009, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Originally Posted by carlap View Post
Hi
We recently took out health insurance as we are in mid - late forties.

I may be wrong, but I thought that the joining medicare letter enabled you to get the 30% government rebate on your insurance contributions.

They will probably check when you arrived in the country from your passport info (via immigration) - hence avoiding LHC if you have been in for less than a year.

There were some confusing questions / requirements about periods in and out the country etc which required "passport activity statements". We only got our visa in Feb 08, so I sent a copy of the visa grant letter and was not asked for anything else.

Something you could do is go to medibank private and start an application
http://www.medibank.com.au/ you can go a fair way through it before you are commited
You seem a bit confused: *Medicare* is the NHS equivalent.

"Avoiding" LHC? Actually, LHC is to be welcomed! It basically means that - if you go the insurance route - you are accepted for life on a scheme. If you delay joining more than a year then you will have to pay the extra 2% per year over age 30 at joining.
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Originally Posted by Wol View Post
You seem a bit confused: *Medicare* is the NHS equivalent.

"Avoiding" LHC? Actually, LHC is to be welcomed! It basically means that - if you go the insurance route - you are accepted for life on a scheme. If you delay joining more than a year then you will have to pay the extra 2% per year over age 30 at joining.
I think you might be confused here:

from
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ma...rs-general.htm

Lifetime Health Cover is a financial loading (LHC loading) that can be payable in addition to the premium for your private health insurance hospital cover (hospital cover).

Also I do know medicare is the NHS equivalent. Medibank private is the private health care provider we use. To get the 30% government rebate from your private contributions you have to show your insurance company a letter from medicare stating when you joined medicare.
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

The key date to get private insurance by to avoid the 2% per year premium for being over 30 is:

one year after you register for medicare,

NOT one year after you arrive in Australia for the first time (this can be a huge difference in dates, especially for those people who do visa validation trips, prior to actually moving down to Australia to live).
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 3:57 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Originally Posted by ShoreyM View Post
You need to call into your local Medicare office and ask them for a letter stating when you arrived in the country. They did it for me while I waited and seemed to know what it was I needed straight away. Think it's a regular request. You then send this to your insurer. I did this myself a couple of weeks ago.
yep, thats what we did, easy peasy
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Originally Posted by carlap View Post
I think you might be confused here:

from
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ma...rs-general.htm

Lifetime Health Cover is a financial loading (LHC loading) that can be payable in addition to the premium for your private health insurance hospital cover (hospital cover).

Also I do know medicare is the NHS equivalent. Medibank private is the private health care provider we use. To get the 30% government rebate from your private contributions you have to show your insurance company a letter from medicare stating when you joined medicare.
The LHC is an "understanding" that you are accepted for lifetime insurance providing you maintain it with some exceptions - the LHC Loading is just that, if you leave it too long and are over 30. The website is slightly confusing!

When we applied four years ago no-one seemed sure of the exact meaning of "twelve months" - I eventually spoke to someone in the minister's office and she was completely confused, and gave me three different interpretations in ten minutes! Glad they have sorted it out now.
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

Hi Wol, Torcraw and Carlap

Thanks for all the advice. Glad to know that I am not the only one that finds it a bit unclear if you have all been through it.

One healthcare provider told me they could sign me up if I wasn't yet registered with medicare (eg: if I joined before I arrived in australia), but I would only get the 30% rebate on premiums once I had joined Medicare. I have PR so will join medicare asap once I arrive.

Thanks for the advice on avoiding the LHC loading. I have validated, but not yet signed up for medicare, nor arrived to settle yet. The company that was asking for "passport activity statements" now seems to have backed down on that and realised it is probably more relevant to Australians going abroad. I guess as long as I join within 12 months of arriving then that will also be within 12 months of joining medicare, I am looking to join a healthcare provider asap, so the 12 month limit shouldn't be a problem.

I am with Standard LIfe in UK, and so far the only Australian healthcare provider that I have found that recognises them is GMHBA. I just wondered if anyone had had any experience of GMHBA (I will be in Sydney and their hospital list there didn't seem the longest). Or does anyone know of another Australian healthcare provider that recognises Standard LIfe?

Thank you so much for all the help.
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Old Jan 24th 2009, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Lifetime Health Cover Loading

The insurance/healthcare provider you had in the UK (or anywhere else outside Australia) is irrelevant when it comes to LHC. The only thing that matters to avoid the 2% per year premium for being over 30 as I mentioned earlier, is that you get private insurance in Australia within one year of signing up for Australian public medicare.

Note that you also don't NEED private health insurance, as public Medicare still gets you many basic services, but there are advantages and disadvantages to going private. A major catalyst for getting private insurance is if you make more than the income threshold (I think it's AU$70000 for individuals, AU$140000 for families) in a year, you will have to pay an extra 1% tax on your income if you don't have private health insurance, so you may as well get it anyways.

Last edited by torcraw; Jan 24th 2009 at 2:44 pm.
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