medicare surcharge and rebates

From 1st July, 2012 the rules that apply to Medicare surcharge and rebates are changing. For singles earning less than $84,000 p.a. and families/couples earning less than $168,000 p.a. there are no changes and the usual 1.5% levy applies unless income is below a threshold which varies according to status. From 1 July, 2012 the low income threshold amounts and phase in limits ensure that individuals do not have a Medicare levy liability where they face no income tax liability.


The private health insurance rebate that applies from 1st July, 2012 and the Medicare surcharge levy that is applicable when appropriate private health insurance is not maintained now varies according to income. The applicable rates are:

    TIER 1 TIER 2 TIER 3
Single less than $84,000 $84,001 - $97,000 $97,001 - $130,000 Greater than $130,000
Families less than $168,000 $168,001 - $194,000 $194,001 - $260,000 Greater than $260,000
less than Age 65 30% 20% 10% 0%
Age 65 to 69 35% 25% 15% 0%
Age 70 plus 40% 30% 20% 0%
All Ages 0.0% 1.0% 1.25% 1.5%


For couples, the rebate is calculated according to the age of the oldest person covered by the policy. The rebate can be payable as a reduction in the premium paid to the insurer, as a payment from Medicare or refunded through the tax returns. If the person’s income is above the threshold, they need to inform the health insurer. If the rebate is higher than the one entitled to, there will be a liability raised in the tax return for that year. There are no additional penalties for estimating incorrectly.