Ambulance cover protects you against the cost of emergency ambulance transport, and treatment by paramedics.
Ambulance services aim to promote health and reduce the adverse effects of emergency events on the community. Governments’ involvement in ambulance services is aimed at providing emergency medical care, pre-hospital and out-of-hospital care, and transport services that are:
- accessible and timely
- meet patients’ needs through delivery of appropriate health care
- high quality — safe, coordinated and responsive healthcare
What are the benefits of ambulance cover?
One of the most important things to remember about Ambulance services is that they’re not covered by Medicare. This includes both emergency transport and other ambulance services which you may need.
Also, depending on the state you live, you may not have ambulance cover, and if you have private health insurance, there’s a possibility that your policy limits, excludes or caps ambulance cover.
As an example, if you live in Victoria, the average cost of emergency transport by ambulance is more than $1100.
Ambulance cover in Victoria could cost around $46 for a single person, and $92 per year for a family, but you could save money by including ambulance cover within your health insurance cover.
The main benefit of having Ambulance Cover is that it insures you against the costs of ambulance services.
Things to consider when purchasing ambulance cover:
- Interstate travel: One consideration is if the policy covers you when travelling interstate.
- Non-emergency travel: Does the policy only covers you for emergency situations, or if it also includes coverage for non-emergency situations? Different health funds can define an “emergency” differently, so this is something you’ll want to get clarity on.
- Call-out fees: Understand how your policy covers you if you require just ambulance treatment, and not transportation. There may also be other factors you need to consider depending on your specific circumstances and the state you in live in, such as:
- Are any waiting periods?
- Are there any co-payments towards the ambulance fee?
- Does your Ambulance Cover also cover air ambulance?
- And what about transports provided by State-approved private providers, or other private providers?
Does health insurance include ambulance cover?
Ambulance Cover differs with each provider. Some funds provide cover for all ambulance travel, whereas others may only cover the costs of ground travel, or include other limitations.
An example of a limitation is where your policy only covers you in your state of residence. Simply put, if you’re covered in Victoria, then there’s a chance you’re not covered if you need ambulance services while on holiday in Tasmania.
Another example of a limitation is when a policy doesn’t cover ‘call out’ fees. A ‘call out’ is when an ambulance treats you at the scene, but doesn’t transport you to hospital. For this reason, it’s important to get clear on the details of your Ambulance Cover policy.
Will my ambulance cover still apply if I am interstate?
Depending on which state you live in, you may not have 100% Australia wide ambulance cover, or you may not have ambulance cover at all.
In Queensland and Tasmania, Ambulance Cover is covered by the state Government (but only if you are a resident). Therefore, if you live in VIC, NSW, SA, NT, ACT, or WA, you’ll need to purchase Ambulance Insurance either through a private health fund, or through a state ambulance service.
Ambulance Cover in Victoria is free for pensioners and low-income earners.
So, whether or not you need cover or whether you qualify for a discount depends on the state you live in. It’s important to remember that in many cases Ambulance Cover only applies while you’re in your home state, and may not apply if you’re interstate.
Care To Compare deals with some health funds that are able to offer comprehensive ambulance cover Australia wide*, but you should review the individual aspects of your policy (and state services) to better understand how your Ambulance cover is affected by interstate travel.
*The provision of ambulance cover when using ambulance services will be subject to the terms and conditions of your policy.
What is the cost of ambulance services?
Ambulance costs can vary from state to state.
- Ambulance costs in Australian Capital Territory.
- Ambulance costs in New South Wales.
- Ambulance costs in Northern Territory.
- Ambulance costs in Queensland.
- Ambulance costs in South Australia.
- Ambulance costs in Tasmania.
- Ambulance costs in Victoria.
- Ambulance costs in Perth, Western Australia.
Are you eligible for free ambulance cover in your state?
Each state offers different Ambulance Cover concessions. For instance, pensioner concession card holders are more often than not granted free ambulance cover. Additionally, residents in Queensland and Tasmania have state funded Ambulance Cover.