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What is the private health insurance rebate?
The private health insurance rebate is a contribution the government makes towards the cost of your private health insurance.
What are the changes?
From 1 July 2012, the private health insurance rebate is income tested. This means that the amount of rebate you are entitled to receive now depends on your income or family income.
Each adult on the private health insurance policy will receive a statement from their insurance provider showing details of their share of the policy at the end of the financial year. You will need your statement to complete your tax return.
How do the changes affect me?
If you are single with an income of $84,000 a year or less, or a couple or family with a combined income of $168,000 a year or less, you are not affected.
If your income is above these amounts, the rebate you receive may be reduced. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will work out your rebate entitlement when you lodge your tax return.
Remember, if you don’t have a suitable level of private hospital cover, you may be charged the Medicare levy surcharge.
How do I avoid a private health insurance liability?
Most people claim their rebate as a reduction in the amount they pay their private health insurer.
If you claim too much rebate as a premium reduction, there is no penalty, you just have to pay back the excess rebate claimed as a liability in your next tax return.
To avoid paying back excess rebate, contact your private health insurance fund to nominate a different rebate amount.
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