Penalties and incentives offered by the government are designed to encourage you to take out private Hospital cover to help alleviate the pressure on the public hospital system.
By taking out Hospital and/or Extras cover you will be rewarded with a reduced premium with the Australian Private Health Insurance Rebate.
Also, by taking out Hospital cover you can:
- avoid paying additional tax if you are a high income earner. If you are single, and earn over $90,000 or a couple/family whose combined income is over $180,000 then you will have to pay more tax with the Medicare levy surcharge if you don't have private health insurance;
- avoid paying the Lifetime Health Cover loading so you can pay a lower premium if you take out Hospital cover earlier in life. The government will add a Lifetime Health Cover loading to your private Hospital cover premiums for each year you delay taking out Hospital cover after your 31st birthday.