Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS)
The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is a levy paid by Australian tax payers who do not have private hospital cover and who earn above a certain income. The surcharge aims to encourage individuals to take out private hospital cover, and where possible, to use the private system to reduce the demand on the public Medicare system.
The surcharge covers you and your dependents. Your dependents include:
- your spouse;
- any of your children who are under 21 years of age; or
- any of your student children who are under 25 years of age.
For more information about who is considered a dependant for MLS purposes, you can refer to the ATO's Medicare Levy Surcharge page.
The surcharge is calculated at the rate of 1% to 1.5% of your income for Medicare Levy Surcharge purposes. It is in addition to the Medicare Levy of 2%, which is paid by most Australian taxpayers. To work out your annual income for MLS and Rebate purposes, you can refer to the Australian Taxation Office's Private Health Insurance Rebate Calculator or contact the ATO directly.
The surcharge levels applicable from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020* are:
||$180,001 - 210,000
||$210,001 - 280,000
|Medicare Levy Surcharge
Single parents and couples (including de facto couples) are subject to family tiers. For families with children, the thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.
*The income thresholds are indexed and will remain the same to 30 June 2021.
Currently, you have to pay the surcharge if you are:
- a single person with an annual taxable income for MLS purposes greater than $90,000; or
- a family or couple with a combined taxable income for MLS purposes greater than $180,000. The family income threshold increases by $1,500 for each dependent child after the first;
- and do not have an approved hospital cover with a registered health insurer.
For additional information about the Medicare Levy Surcharge, you can visit www.privatehealth.gov.au or the ATO website.