Private Health Insurance Benefit Limitation Periods – Changes to improve information for private health insurance members

Some private health insurers impose benefit limitation periods of up to 24 months for hospital treatment, and offer lower premium costs for these policies.

Page last updated: 16 March 2018

Benefit limitation periods have been applied under the current Private Health Insurance Act 2007 (the Act) since 2007 and under previous Acts.

The Government recognises that Benefit Limitation Periods can be an area of confusion for some private health insurance members.

The Government announced in October 2017 a package of reforms to make private health insurance products more affordable and easier to understand for consumers. As part of these reforms the government committed to remove BLPs for mental health cover.

Following consultation on the reforms, the Government has now decided that all BLPs should be removed to make private health insurance products easier to understand for consumers and meet the requirements of the Act.

The Government is taking action to help consumers choose an appropriate health insurance product and provide consumers with greater information.

The Government will ensure that BLPs will no longer be applied to any treatments under any hospital policy from 1 July 2018. Legislation will be introduced to ensure that consumers whose policies contained a BLP before 1 July 2018 continue to be eligible for premium rebates, and exemptions from the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover loadings, in relation to these policies.