Can I suspend my policy while travelling overseas?

Yes, you can certainly suspend your policy while travelling and we hope you have a great trip! 

If you're going overseas for more than two months and less than two years, you can certainly suspend your policy until you return to Australia. 

Here's a few reasons why suspending your policy is a smart idea:

  • You won't have to re-serve any waiting periods you've already served
  • It won't cost you anything to suspend your policy and you won't have to pay a cent towards it while you're not in Australia
  • You get to keep your length of membership, which is a huge advantage! For example, if you hold one of our Extras Cover products you'll be rewarded over time with higher annual limits and higher benefits payable on a number of services including chiro, osteo and complementary therapies (all of which increase after 3 years) plus dental, optical, physio, speech therapy and occupational therapy, which all increase after 5 years. By suspending your policy, you will retain these higher benefits.  
  • If you're aged 31 and over and already have hospital cover in place, you won't need to worry about incurring or increasing the governments' Lifetime Health Cover Loading. 

Please note that different rules apply though depending on your current membership status and whether you're a permanent or temporary resident. Here's everything you need to know about policy suspension for travel purposes:

DETAILSAustralian Citizens & Permanent ResidentsTemporary Residents & International Visitors
DURATIONMinimum 2 months, maximum 2 years.Minimum 14 days, maximum 4 months.
FORMDomestic Cover Suspension FormVisitors Cover Suspension Form

Important - conditions apply, please note:

  • Your membership must be paid up to your departure date.
  • You must have held at least three months continuous membership prior to requesting a suspension for travel purposes.
  • A policy suspension for travel purposes can only be requested once in any 12 month period.
  • All suspension applications must be lodged on the appropriate form and submitted to HIF at least ten days prior to leaving Australia.
  • During the period in which a membership is suspended:
    • The Member will not be taken into account for the purposes of calculation of Premiums
    • Benefits are not payable for Treatment received by the Member, and
    • The period does not count for any purpose in relation to the Member, including Waiting Period, Benefit Limitation Period and Benefit Replacement Periods.

Important - please note: If you’re a single earning $90,000+ or a couple/family earning $180,000+, the Australian Tax Office defines you as a high-income earner; which means a suspension of your policy may result in you incurring the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) in your 2017/18 tax return. To offset (or avoid) the Medicare Levy Surcharge you must hold private hospital cover for the full 365 days of the financial year.

Ready to reinstate a suspended policy? To reactivate your membership, please complete a Reinstate After Suspension Form (we’ll need a copy of your boarding pass or passport stamp for verification).

Category: Member Information
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