Latrobe Health Insurance Review

Established in 1951, Latrobe Health was founded by power industry workers to provide hospital and ambulance services for the members of Latrobe Valley in Victoria.

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by Gary Andrews

Last update 15 Apr 2021

Overview

Today, Latrobe Health covers 81,000 members Australia-wide.

A not-for-profit fund, Latrobe exists only to support its members, aiming to provide affordable cover, higher benefits and helpful and prompt customer service.

Latrobe is still regionally focused and plays an active role in the community.

Key Points

A not-for-profit fund that's part of the Members Health Fund Alliance.
Mobile app that allows members to claim on the go.
Discounts offered for direct debit premium payments.

Latrobe Health Services isn't on our panel but we're confident we can get you a great deal on your health insurance.

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Hospital cover

Nobody chooses to go to hospital.

But when you do, hospital cover will help you get the treatment you need, where and when you want it.

It also helps to pay the bills, as fees for hospital rooms and specialists can add up.

Think about what services you're likely to need, in line with your budget.

If you earn over $90,000 individually or $180,000 as a couple, you could avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Latrobe offers 5 types of hospital cover, ranging from Basic Hospital to cover the essentials, to Gold Hospital for the most comprehensive cover.

Healthy Start Hospital

Healthy Start is a combined hospital and extras package, providing cover for treatment in public hospitals and restricted cover for treatment in private hospitals.

It's a budget option but the hospital cover comes with a lot of restrictions.

Key inclusions:

  • Limited general dental
  • Covers a shared room in a public hospital when you are admitted as a private patient.
  • Private hospital cover for treatment relating to an accident (some conditions apply)

Bronze Plus Hospital

Bronze Plus provides a wide range of services at a weekly cost that's not much more than the Health Start package.

It doesn't come with extras -- you'll need to take these out at an extra cost.

Key inclusions:

  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets

Silver Hospital

The Silver Hospital cover provides a number of key inclusions but doesn't include any additional items you'd usually find in the highest Gold tier or a Silver Plus policy.

Key inclusions:

  • Back, neck and spine
  • Heart and vascular system
  • Implantation of hearing devices
  • Podiatric surgery

Silver Plus Hospital

A more extensive -- and more expensive -- hospital package.

Silver Plus covers everything Silver Hospital does but has a number of inclusions that are more likely to be used by older Australians.

Key inclusions:

  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Insulin pumps

Gold Hospital

Latrobe's Gold Hospital policy is their most comprehensive hospital policy, and has no restrictions or exclusions.

It's also their only hospital cover to include pregnancy-related items.

Key inclusions:

  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Weight loss surgery

Ambulance Cover

Emergency ambulance cover is included in all hospital and extras policies.

Extras cover

From dental, to optical, to chiro and more, extras insurance helps cover the bills for routine treatments with rebates of up to 100%.

Simply work out what you need and what you're prepared to pay.

Latrobe offers seven different extras cover packages, which we've summarised below.

Basic Extras is only available with hospital cover.

Latrobe's other plans can be purchased with or without hospital cover.

Basic Extras

Basic Extras is designed to cover the basics, such as general dental, optical and some allied health services.

You can only purchase this as a combined policy.

Key inclusions:

  • $500 General Dental limit per person
  • $250 limit per person for chiropractic, physiotherapy and podiatry consultations
  • Glasses/contact lenses (12 month waiting period)

Core Family Extras

Latrobe's mid-range extras provides cover for common treatments.

It's been designed with families in mind, with items such as speech therapy and antenatal.

Major dental and orthodontics aren't included.

Key inclusions:

  • $375 annual General Dental limit per person
  • Remedial massage
  • Psychology
  • Antenatal and postnatal classes

Core Singles and Couples

The Singles and Couples package is designed for younger Australians and is similar to the Core Family Extras, but without some of the family specifical items such as antenatal classes, making it a little bit cheaper.

Key inclusions:

  • Dietician services
  • $175 annual limit per person on optical
  • $375 annual limit per person on general dental

Core Extras

A comprehensive mid-tier policy that comes with a lot more inclusions than the Singles and Couples, and Family packages, such as major dental and orthodontics.

There's a wider range of allied health services, and hearing aids are also included.

Key inclusions:

  • Major dental limit of $1,000 per person (membership limit of $2000 pa applies)
  • $1,800 lifetime orthodontics limit per person
  • Podiatry

Premier Families Extras

Latrobe's higher level family extras policy but comes with higher benefits and a lot more inclusions.

It's the only package that has access to an infant sleep school and covers Australian Breastfeeding Association fees.

Key inclusions:

  • $1,000 annual General Dental limit per person
  • Occupational therapy$2,400 lifetime limit for orthodontics
  • HPV vaccination

Premier Singles and Couples Extras

A top tier extras policy designed to cut out items younger Australians probably won't need to use.

It has a higher level of allied health rebates and access to a stop smoking program.

Key inclusions:

  • $1,000 annual general dental limit per person.
  • Travel for eligible outpatient appointments
  • $550 annual physiotherapy limit per person

Premier Extras

Latrobe's general top tier extras policy is available for singles, couples and families.

It doesn't include items such as breastfeeding fees, but is comprehensive and includes health screening for moles and mammograms, making it more suitable for older Australians.

Key inclusions:

  • No annual general dental limit per person.
  • $3,000 lifetime orthodontics limit per person.
  • Visiting nurses.
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Waiting periods

Waiting periods are there to stop people from signing up, claiming and then cancelling their cover.

It means once you first take out a plan, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before receiving your benefit.

When you switch to Latrobe from another provider, you won't have to re-serve your waiting periods, unless your new policy covers something you didn't have before.

Hospital Waiting Periods

  • 12 months -- Pre-existing conditions (excluding psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care), blood glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, compressor pumps and nebulisers, hearing aids, C-PAP machines, TENS machines, pregnancy related conditions and non-surgically implanted prosthesis
  • 2 months -- ​All other services

Extras Waiting Periods

  • 12 months --Major Dental and orthodontic treatment, optical
  • 3 months -- General Dental and mouthguards
  • 2 months -- All other services

Member benefits

Latrobe offers loyalty benefits on the family, and singles and couples extras packages, with the premium policies offering access to the QUIT smoking course.

How to claim

Hospital

Simply tell the hospital you are a member of a Latrobe policy. Your hospital account will be sent directly to Latrobe for them to assess on your behalf. If you're billed directly via your provider, you can also claim via your MyGov account or by going into a Medicare office.

Extras

You can swipe your membership card to claim directly on the spot with your provider's HICAPS terminal.

You can also claim via the Latrobe Health claiming app, or fill out the claim form and send it via email or mail.

Hospital agreements

Latrobe has agreements with a large number of hospital and day surgery providers across Australia.

When comparing policies, it's worth checking if your preferred local hospitals and clinics are covered.

Our specialists at Compare Club can do this for you.

Customer service

From 1 January to 31 March 2020, the Private Health Ombudsman received 9 complaints from Latrobe members, making up 1.1% of total complaints.

Latrobe has a market share of 0.7%.

Source: Private Health Ombudsmans

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FAQs

Is Latrobe a not-for-profit fund?

Yes – all profits are diverted back into the fund, for increased benefits to members.

Who can apply? Are there any restrictions?

Latrobe is open for all to join.

Is it easy to switch to Latrobe?

We do not compare for Latrobe, so you’ll need to contact them directly to switch.

However, if you’re interested in exploring your options, it’s free to compare a range of funds with Compare Club.

Do I need to re-serve waiting periods?

You can switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover without re-serving waiting periods.

You will only be required to serve waiting periods if you have upgraded to a higher level of cover.

Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can modify your cover with Latrobe directly.

If you’re thinking of switching to a new provider, Compare Club can compare quotes for you and take care of the entire process, free of charge.

Do I get the government rebate?

For every dollar of private health insurance premiums, the Australian Government provides eligible Australians with a rebate of up to 33.4% (depending on your age and income).

Do I have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading?

If you're joining for the first time and you're 31 or over, you usually need to pay 2% loading for each year you've gone without health cover since your 31st birthday.

You can find out more here.

What age are children covered up to?

Dependent children can be on your plan up to the ages of 18, or up to 25 if they are studying full-time.

Non-student dependents can only remain on your plan from 18 – 25 if you have a Family Care membership.

How do I get in contact with Latrobe

Phone: 1300 362 144 Email:info@lhs.com.au Post: Reply Paid 41, Morwell VIC 3840

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This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.