If you're an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you'll likely have access to Medicare.
Medicare is Australia's public healthcare system that covers part or all of the cost of Medicare-approved procedures performed by a GP or specialist.
It also provides you with free hospital treatment and accommodation in a public hospital.
Essentially private health insurance could bring you peace of mind for accident cover and gives you choice should you ever need to use it.
ING Health Insurance offers different levels of Hospital and Extras cover to suit your needs depending your health requirements.
Here are some government initiatives you should know about that are designed to encourage Australians to take out Hospital cover.
Medicare Levy Surcharge: if your income is over $93,000 for singles ($186,000 for couples/families) and you take out and maintain Hospital cover for the full financial year, you could avoid paying an extra 1% to 1.5% in tax via the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). Visit the Australian Tax Office website for specific rules for calculating income for MLS purposes.
To help with the cost of private health insurance, the Federal Government provides many Australians with a rebate, known as the Australian Government Rebate.
If you earn an income of $140,000 or less as a single, or $280,000 or less as a family (see table below) you are eligible for the rebate. All the people listed on the health insurance policy must be eligible to claim Medicare for you to receive the rebate.
If you are eligible for the rebate, use the below table to find out which rebate you fall into and what percentage of your premium the Australian Government will cover.
The rebate percentages are set annually by the Australian Government. Please note that if you have a Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, the rebate is not claimable on the LHC loading component of your premium.
Rebate for singles based on your age and taxable income for the 2023/2024 financial year:
Source: Australian Tax Office. These thresholds apply for the 2023/2024 financial year. For families, and single parent families the threshold increases by $1,500 for each dependant child after the first. There are specific rules for calculating income for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes. For more information visit the Australian Tax Office.
You can nominate your level of rebate via ING Health Insurance member services or calling us on 1800 111 831.
Most people claim the rebate upfront as it reduces the amount that you pay your fund - just set your rebate tier when you join. You can also claim the rebate at tax time if you prefer to or if you forget to select your rebate tier upfront.
Finally if you select a rebate tier which is lower or higher than what you're entitled to from the Government you will see the difference returned or charged to you when you lodge your tax return.