Ambulance services have the task of providing efficient emergency, pre-hospital, and out-of-hospital care. Such transport services should be safe and on time. The Australian Government Productivity Commission reports that 3.7 million incidents requiring ambulance responses occurred. The years 2017 and 2018 saw an estimated 4.6 million ambulance services responses, dispatched to tend to the needs of 3.5 million patients (2019).
Having ambulance coverage is essential because one doesn’t know when an emergency will occur. Paying ambulance services with personal money surprises some Australians because transport cost coverage is location dependent. Contrary to some residents’ assumptions that the public health system covers ambulance calls, ambulance coverage differs by state. Some states have ambulance cover, and others don’t.
Residents living in states that don’t have ambulance coverage should investigate if their private health insurance covers ambulance calls. Private health insurance policies may limit or exclude coverage of ambulance services.
People who fund ambulance service costs themselves should consider finding cheaper ways to pay. Compare ambulance cover with iSelect. This website has researched ambulance coverage for policy seekers, enabling efficient comparisons that lead to informed decisions. Ambulance cover options include health funds that offer comprehensive ambulance coverage across the nation.
Residents who want to add ambulance coverage to their health insurance policies should consider how private insurance providers differ in their treatment of ambulance coverage. Some insurance providers allow coverage for ambulance travel via all emergency transport vehicles. Other insurance providers don’t cover air travel costs. People should check their ambulance cover policy features, as some policies cover ambulance treatment at the scene of an incident, but lack coverage for transportation to a hospital.
Having ambulance coverage in one’s state of residence doesn’t mean such coverage transfers to other states. Residents of Tasmania and Queensland receive free emergency ambulance services from the government, unlike residents of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory. Tasmanian residents who desire ambulance coverage in every state can purchase it via private health funds.
Emergency transport services in Victoria are the most expensive by comparison. Residents in Victoria can get access to free ambulance services in their state if they hold a Pensioner Concession Card and Healthcare Card. The ambulance costs in New South Wales are the lowest compared to other areas where residents must pay for ambulance services. In New South Wales, residents can receive free ambulance coverage if they meet certain concessions. For example, they must hold a Health Care Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Pensioner Concession Card, White Card, and Gold Card.
People in Western Australia who hold Aged Pensioner Concession Cards might receive free ambulance transportation. In the Northern Territory, residents need a Pensioner Concession Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card to get free ambulance cover. To get free emergency ambulance services in the Australian Capital Territory, residents must hold a Health Care Concession Card and Pensioner Concession Card. Residents in the states mentioned above who aren’t eligible for concessions can purchase ambulance cover through a state ambulance service or a private health fund. People who hold a Department of Veterans Affairs Gold Card receive coverage for state ambulance services in all states.
Australians who seek ambulance coverage can consult iSelect to review their state’s emergency transport costs and concessions regarding ambulance cover arrangements. When purchasing ambulance cover, people should consider factors such as interstate travel, non-emergency situations in addition to emergencies, and receiving ambulance treatment and transportation to a hospital. Additional concerns ambulance coverage-seekers should consider are call-out fees, waiting periods, co-payments for ambulance fees, and situations that require air ambulance travel. Using a trusted resource and adhering to location-dependent ambulance cover rules ensures Australians can afford services should an emergency arise.