Discover the benefits of Latrobe Health Insurance and Compare Policies on Offer
Latrobe Health Services was established in 1951 and has since been providing quality services to its members. Currently it provides health cover to over 78,000 Australians. Being a Members Own health fund it is able to keep the premiums at a very affordable rate and give good choices to its customers.
Health insurance has become an integral part of our lives and going forward the government would look to private health insurance to share more costs for health services. Customers can get several benefits by taking Latrobe health insurance which include saving on lifetime loading charges, Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), government rebates on premium. Besides these, a customer gets priority healthcare at the place of their choice with reduced out-of-pocket expenses.
Latrobe health insurance cover options
The health cover provided by Latrobe can be divided into two major categories.
The different hospital types provided by Latrobe Health are:
- Top Hospital
- Member share
- Cover Wise
- Loyal Members
- Family Care.
All the hospital types provide full cover which includes accommodation cover, theatre fees, coronary/ heart procedures, home nursing, intensive care, rehabilitation treatment and more. Their main difference is in excess payments, co-payment options and family cover. For Family Care hospital cover single dependents are covered till their 25th birthday. Loyal member cover provides reducing excess payments.
Depending on the personal income and health situations you can choose the excess payments and co-payments.
The different types of Extras cover are:
- Premier Gold
- Premier Silver
- Family Care Gold
- Family Care
- Premier Plus
- Premier Family
- Premier Singles.
These cover provide different levels of cover and have different premiums. For customers who require ongoing treatment a higher cover level like Premier Gold or Family Care Gold is ideal. Whereas for young and single customers a lower cover level like Premier Extra cover should suffice.
Latrobe Health insurance levels of cover
Every individual has their own personal situation and health conditions. Latrobe Health recognises this fact and has developed hospital and extras cover with different levels. The premiums differ according to the level of cover provided.
Top Hospital cover has no excess or co-payments requirement whereas Cover Wise hospital cover has an option for excess payments which vary from $150 to $1,000.
If a customer requires regular hospital services they can choose Top Hospital cover which requires higher premiums but there is no excess or co-payments requirement. For young and healthy customers a Cover Wise option with higher excess would help to lower premium and also provide the requisite health cover.
Similarly in Extras cover there are different levels of cover from Premier to Premier Gold. Premier Gold requires higher premiums but provides a wider coverage with better benefits. Latrobe Health also has Dental extras cover which specifically covers dental costs like general dental, major dental and mouthguard.
What exclusions apply?
The general exclusions and cap on benefits are:
- Waiting period. This is applied by all health insurers. There is a waiting period before the benefits are available. This waiting period varies for different treatments. It is 12 months for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy related condition, major dental, orthodontic, optical and others. For general dental and mouth-guards the waiting period is three months and it is two months for psychiatric care and rehabilitation.
- Overseas travel. Latrobe Health membership will not cover any expenses on health incurred while traveling overseas.
- Time limit. The claims must be made within two years of getting the service. After this period the benefits are not payable.
- Cosmetic surgeries. Certain cosmetic surgeries are excluded from benefits.
Benefit cap according to level of cover. Different covers have different caps on the benefit which can be availed for treatment. Customers should look at their personal circumstances and needs and get the requisite level of cover to get required benefits.
How much does Latrobe health insurance cost?
There are different levels of cover which require different premiums. These premiums also differ by income levels, excess payments, co-payments, lifetime health cover (LHC) loading, government rebate and other factors. We can look at a few examples to find how the cost structure is defined for Latrobe Health policies.
Latrobe health insurance cost?
Matt is 40 years old and is currently earning $65,000. He is single and wants a hospital cover with $150 excess. He has never had health insurance and will need to pay lifetime heath cover loading fees. This is 2% for every year a policy is not taken after a person’s 31st birthday. In his case the LHC fee for his policy is 18%. He will have to pay $40.35/week towards his health insurance. If he had no LHC penalty this health cover would cost him $32.30/week. He will have to pay the higher premium for 10 years before the premiums drop to regular rates.
Ben and Mary Jones are 35 and 33 years old and have a three year old kid. They have a combined income of $110,000/year. They wish to take Family Care hospital cover with no co-payments and Family Care Gold Extra cover. This would cost $118.10/week.
Latrobe health insurance excess
Excess payments are used as a means to keep insurance premium affordable. It allows customers to choose excess payments which they will make for a hospital visit. The maximum amount payable in a year is capped for all policies. Latrobe Health insurance policies have excess payments from $0 to $1,000. The Top Hospital cover does not require any excess or co-payments but the premium can be as high as $34.10/week for singles earning less $90,000. If a cover wise policy is taken with $1,000 excess, this premium will decrease to $17.85/week.
If a person is young and healthy, it is advisable to choose a higher excess payment which will save higher expense on premiums. On the other hand people requiring regular treatment can go for zero or minimum excess to lower their expense while using health services.
How to save on your Latrobe health insurance policies?
One of the biggest complaints which customers have while using health insurance is that their premiums remain the same even when they hardly make any claims. The main reason behind this is “community rating” policy of the government. According to this individuals with pre-existing conditions or higher requirement of health services cannot be discriminated. All the users pay the same flat rate irrespective of their health conditions.
However members can reduce their premiums by using a few cost saving measures. They are:
- Higher Excess/ Co-payments. By choosing higher excess payments the premium cost reduces substantially. If a person is young and healthy there might be lower need for claims. In this case a cover with higher excess payments will help in lowering the premiums.
- Reasonable cover. Not everyone requires Premier Gold extra cover which provides cover for all the treatments. Health insurance should be used judiciously to get cover for treatments which are required in a person’s case. Premiums can be reduced by choosing Premier Singles or Premier Plus cover.
- Right time. Having a private insurance gives various benefits like tax advantage and government rebate. However it is ideal to take the insurance at or before the 31st birthday. This would prevent LHC loading charges which can rise to as high as 70%. By starting the insurance at right time this loading charge can be prevented and the overall cost of premiums will also not rise.
Making a claim
Electronic claiming facility is available for chiropractic, dental, dietetics, osteopathy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech therapy, optical and psychology health providers. Members can present their card and claim benefits immediately.
Other services like acupuncture, homeopathy, audiology, orthotics, pharmacy and more can be claimed directly by mailing the documents to any Latrobe Health branch.
How do I know if I also have to serve a waiting period?
If customers are transferring from another insurer they can have continuity of cover. However the transfer must be within 30 days of the expiry of previous policy. Also the customer should have already served the requisite waiting period in the previous policy. Additionally the cover with Latrobe Health should not be an upgrade from the previous cover.
What happens if I face a financial hardship and cannot afford to continue my cover?
You can have small gaps in the health cover. If this gap is above 1094 days a 2.0% loading fee will be charged for every 365 days without a health policy. This rule is enforced by the government and is followed by all health insurers.
Is there a ‘cooling-off’ period?
If you are not happy with the policy, you can cancel it within 30 days and full refund of all premiums will be paid provided no claims are made during this time.
Is there an option for overseas visitors?
Currently Latrobe Health does not have any options for overseas visitors.
Are there any additional benefits?
Besides getting a good health cover there are few additional benefits which very useful. They are:
- Government rebate. The premiums on private insurance have a heavy rebate according to the income levels. If a person is earning less than $90,000 and is less than 65 years, this rebate is 26.791%. For citizens above 70 years this rebate can be 35.722% if their income is less than $90,000.
- Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). If a person’s income is more than $90,000 and there is no health insurance, MLS of 1% to 1.5% will be levied on their income. In many cases it is cheaper to pay the premiums then paying MLS.
- LHC loading. Taking a private insurance prevents loading fee which can be as high as 70% of the original premium cost.
Does Latrobe offer a loyalty benefit?
- Latrobe Health has Loyal Members hospital cover which has reducing excess payments. Excess for first four years are $300, $250, $200 and $150. After the fourth year there is no excess.
Compare health insurance policies online today and speak with an adviser
Whether you're single, in a couple and planning on having a family or at the end of that journey, the need for health insurance should be a priority. There are good rebates and tax benefits which add to the attractiveness of health insurance. Latrobe Health provides diverse options which cater to the need of different people.